Best Upgrades Hermitage Rating

August 18, 2005

Hermitage Insurance Company announced that its rating has been upgraded by rating agency A.M. Best Company to “B++” (Very Good).

The upgrade reflects A.M. Best’s positive assessment of Hermitage’s financial condition as a result of continued underwriting and operating improvements and the solid support of its new parent, Brascan
Corporation. Brascan, one of the 50 largest publicly traded corporations in Canada, acquired Hermitage in a transaction that closed in June 2005. Best’s outlook for the company is stable.

Hermitage reported net pre-tax income of $1.8 million for the six months ended June 30, 2005 as compared to $0.845 million for the six months ended June 30, 2004. Hermitage’s current $38 million Policyholder Surplus reflects additional capital provided by Brascan since its acquisition.

Hermitage Insurance Company is licensed in Georgia, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island and operates as a surplus lines writer in 26 states and the District of Columbia.

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