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December 18, 2013

A.M. Best Affirms Financial Strength Ratings, Upgrades Issuer Credit Ratings for Western National Insurance Group

(Minneapolis, Minn.) Western National Insurance Group (WNIG) of Edina, Minn., today announced that A.M. Best Company has affirmed the group’s “A” (Excellent) financial strength rating and upgraded its issuer credit rating to “a+” from “a”, effective immediately. The group’s outlook for all ratings is stable.

These ratings and outlook reflect the group’s solid risk-adjusted capitalization, strong operating performance, and superior business profile, according to A.M. Best. They apply to Western National Mutual Insurance Company and the following wholly owned subsidiaries: Western National Assurance Company, Western Home Insurance Company, Pioneer Specialty Insurance Company, Umialik Insurance Company, and Arizona Automobile Insurance Company. Concurrently, A.M. Best has affirmed the financial strength rating of “A” (Excellent) and issuer credit rating of “a” of subsidiary American Freedom Insurance Company.

“We are pleased to have our group’s financial strength and stability affirmed once again as being an excellent, ‘A’ grade quality,” said Stuart Henderson, President and CEO of Western National Insurance Group. “While our group does not issue credit, we consider the upgrade of our issuer credit rating to be an especially positive sign of the direction in which our financial performance is trending. We look forward to building on that positive performance in the years to come, for the continued financial protection of our group’s policyholders.”

Founded in 1899, A.M. Best Company is a full-service credit rating organization dedicated to serving the insurance industry. The company is the world’s oldest and most authoritative insurance rating and information source.

Western National Insurance Group (WNIG), headquartered in Edina, Minn., is a super-regional group of seven active property-and-casualty insurance companies writing over $365 million of premium on over $300 million of policyholder’s surplus. The group serves the property-and-casualty insurance needs of individuals, families, and businesses in 19 states in the Midwestern, Northwestern, and Southwestern U.S., with products sold exclusively through independent insurance agents.

For further information, please contact:

Steve Norman, CPCU, M.A., AIT
Assistant Vice President – Communications
(952) 921-5680 or (800) 862-6070 Ext. 7680
steven.norman@wnins.com