June 15, 2006

Western National Insurance Group Announces Closing of Farmers Home Group Affiliation

Western National Insurance Group, based in Edina, MN, today announced that it has met all regulatory and legal steps to finalize the affiliation with Farmers Home Group of Bloomington, MN. Farmers Home companies will continue to operate as separate entities in their personal lines niche, under the joint management and control of Western National, whose senior management now occupy all Board and senior officer positions for Farmers Home. 

A.M. Best has also announced that the companies of the former Farmers Home Group (Farmers Home Mutual Insurance Company, Western Home Insurance Company and Pioneer Insurance Company) will all carry the A- (Excellent) rating of the Western National Insurance Group.

"We are looking forward to integrating the fine staff of Farmers Home into the Western National Group," said Stuart Henderson, president & chief executive officer of Western National Insurance Group. "With this transaction, the group gains geographic diversification through the profitable book of business of Farmers Home, as well as greater economies of scale - all to the benefit of our mutual policyholders." 

The newly expanded Western National Insurance Group consists of five regional Property and Casualty Insurance companies with direct written premium in excess of $240 million and Total Assets of $450 million. Western National Mutual Insurance Company is headquartered in Edina, Minnesota and writes personal and commercial lines in MN, WI, SD, ND and IA. Western National Assurance Company maintains offices in Seattle, Washington, and writes the same types of business in WA and OR. Farmers Home, Western Home and Pioneer are currently headquartered in Bloomington, MN and write personal lines in MN, WA, NV and UT. All companies distribute their insurance products solely via the Independent Agency distribution system.

For further information, contact:

Mary S. Manley

SVP Corporate Affairs & Administration