Merchants Preferred Debuts in N.H.

June 29, 2007

Merchants Mutual Insurance Co. announced that its recently formed subsidiary, Merchants Preferred Insurance Co., issued its first insurance policy, a commercial auto policy, in New Hampshire effective July 1, 2007.

Merchants Preferred will target preferred property and casualty commercial and personal lines risks, while Merchants Mutual targets standard risks.

The creation of Merchants Preferred comes after the acquisition, first announced last November, of Merchants Group, Inc. and Merchants Insurance Company of New Hampshire, Inc. by American European Group, Inc. As part of that deal, Merchants Mutual and its new subsidiary, Merchants Preferred, got the exclusive right to renew all of Merchants Insurance Company of New Hampshire, Inc.’s independent agency business. Merchants also retained use of the name “Merchants.”

American European Group, Inc., which bought Merchants Group, is a Delaware insurance holding company with headquarters in New York City. Through its operating subsidiaries, including Rutgers Casualty Insurance Co. and Rutgers Enhanced Insurance Co., it offers personal and commercial insurance products, primarily in New York and New Jersey. Another of its subsidiaries, Kentucky National Insurance Co., is in runoff.

Neither Merchants Group nor Merchants Insurance Comany of New Hampshire Inc., with approximately $50 million worth of property casualty business, had any assets or employees. The business operations had been managed by Merchants Mutual for years. The parties have ended that administrative agreement.

The new company, Merchants Preferred, recently earned an A- (excellent) rating with a stable outlook from the A.M. Best Co. Merchants Mutual’s A- (excellent) rating was also renewed by A.M. Best.

Merchants Mutual and Merchants Preferred comprise Merchants Insurance Group. The companies sell through more than 600 independent insurance agents throughout the Northeast and Midwest. With corporate headquarters and regional operations located in Buffalo, N.Y., Merchants operates offices in Hauppauge, N.Y.; Albany, N.Y.; Moorestown, N.J.; Manchester, N.H., and Columbus, Ohio.

Source: Merchants Insurance Group

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