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May 7, 2007

Western National Insurance Group Announces Launch of Specialty Company with New Leadership

Western National Insurance Group (WNIG) today announced their plan to launch a new Property & Casualty insurance company with a focus on specialty lines of business. The Group currently has a wholly-owned company shell, Pioneer Insurance Company, which will be renamed "Pioneer Specialty Insurance Company" and, after appropriate capitalization, will commence writing selected classes of commercial business in the first quarter of 2008.

WNIG also announced that this new company will be led by Brian A. Jermeland, who will join the company as Senior Vice President and General Manager. With a Bachelor's degree from St. Mary's University and a background in Motor Vehicle Enforcement and Loss Control, Brian brings 16 years of specialty experience to Pioneer. He has held various management roles at Northland Insurance Company, most recently serving as VP of Fleet Transportation.

"We are very pleased to have attracted the kind of talent and expertise that Brian will bring to this new endeavor," said President & CEO, Stu Henderson. "While the Group already has some business that could be called "Specialty" due to our individual account underwriting philosophy and deep bench strength of underwriters, Pioneer Specialty will focus its future growth efforts in specific niches that best match our underwriting expertise with market opportunities. In the next few months, the business plan will be fine tuned under the new leadership, and we will share the details with our business partners in the near future."

Western National Insurance Group consists of five regional Property and Casualty Insurance companies with shared administrative offices in Edina, Minnesota. Western National Mutual Insurance Company writes personal and commercial lines in MN, WI, SD, ND and IA. Western National Assurance Company writes personal lines in WA, OR, NV and UT, and commercial lines in WA and OR (maintaining an underwriting and claim office in Seattle). Farmers Home Mutual Insurance Company, Western Home Insurance Company and Pioneer Insurance Company write personal lines in MN, WA, NV and UT. All of the companies' products are sold exclusively through professional independent agents.

For further information, contact:

Mary S. Manley
SVP Corporate Affairs & Administration