August 25, 2005

Western National Insurance Group Named to the 2005 Ward's 50 Benchmark Group of Property/Casualty Insurance Companies

Western National Insurance Group has been named to the "2005 Ward's 50 Benchmark Group" for achieving outstanding financial results in the areas of safety, consistency and performance over a five year period (2000 - 2004). 

The Ward Group, a management consulting firm specializing in the insurance industry, annually reviews the financial performance of all Property/Casualty and Life/Health insurance companies, selecting the top 50 performers. This group of 50 companies is referred to as the Ward's 50 Benchmark Group for the year. 

"On a day-to-day basis, we just work hard at doing the right thing for our policyholders and independent agents; we don't necessarily focus on outperforming any other companies," said President & CEO, Stu Henderson. "The fact that our resulting financial performance puts us in the company of the top 50 Property/Casualty insurance companies in a pool of over 2,900 such companies in the United States is nonetheless very gratifying. We are very proud of the achievements of our employees and business partners, and thank them for their service to our policyholders." 

The Company noted that its financial results for 2005 continue to be stronger than the industry as a whole, and that it continues to see reasonable premium growth at responsible rates. 

Western National Insurance Group consists of two regional Property and Casualty Insurance companies with annual direct written premium in excess of $200 million. Western National Mutual Insurance Company (with headquarters in Edina, Minnesota) currently offers insurance products in Minnesota, South Dakota, North Dakota, Iowa, and Wisconsin. Western National Assurance Company (with offices in Seattle, Washington) currently offers insurance products in the states of Washington and Oregon. The company distributes its insurance products solely via the Independent Agency distribution system.

For further information, contact:

Mary S. Manley

SVP Corporate Affairs & Administration