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A.M. Best upgrades ratings of new pooled members of State Auto Insurance Companies

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OLDWICK, N.J.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--A.M. Best Co. has upgraded the financial strength rating (FSR) to A+ (Superior) from A- (Excellent) and the issuer credit ratings (ICR) to “aa-” from “a-” of Patrons Mutual Insurance Company of Connecticut (Glastonbury, CT), Litchfield Mutual Fire Insurance Company (Litchfield, CT) and Beacon National Insurance Company (Beacon National) (Wichita Falls, TX). The upgrades are the result of these companies becoming pooled members of State Auto Insurance Companies (State Auto), effective January 1, 2008. State Auto’s publicly traded holding company is State Auto Financial Corporation (both of Columbus, OH) (NASDAQ: STFC). In addition, A.M. Best has upgraded the FSR to A+ (Superior) from A- (Excellent) and the ICR to “aa-” from “a-” of Beacon Lloyds Insurance Company (Wichita
Falls, TX) based on the inter-company reinsurance arrangement in place with its parent, Beacon National. The outlook for all ratings has been revised to stable from positive.

Concurrently, A.M. Best has withdrawn the FSRs of A- (Excellent) and the ICRs  of “a-” of Beacon Insurance Group (Beacon) (Wichita Falls, TX) and Patrons Mutual Group of Connecticut (Patrons) (Glastonbury, CT), assigning both groups a category NR-5 (Not Formally Followed). These actions follow the previously announced affiliation of both Beacon and Patrons in March and December 2007, respectively. (Please see press releases of March 30, 2007, July 20, 2007 and January 18, 2008.)

A.M. Best also has withdrawn the FSR of A- (Excellent) and ICRs of “a-” of Petrolia Insurance Company and First Preferred Insurance Company (both of Wichita Falls, TX) and assigned the companies a category NR-5 (Not Formally Followed). These companies, which were former members of Beacon, were dissolved in December 2007. In addition, A.M. Best has withdrawn the FSR of A- (Excellent) and ICR of “a-” of Patrons Fire Insurance Company of Rhode Island (Patrons Fire) (Glastonbury, CT) and assigned it a category NR-3 (Rating Procedure Inapplicable). Patrons Fire, which was a former member of Patrons, is currently inactive. For Best’s Ratings, an overview of the rating process and rating methodologies, please visit www.ambest.com/ratings.

Founded in 1899, A.M. Best Company is a global full-service credit rating organization dedicated to serving the financial and health care service industries, including insurance companies, banks, hospitals and health care system providers. For more information, visit www.ambest.com.

CONTACTS

A.M. Best Co.
Analysts
Michael Venezia
908-439-2200, ext. 5034
michael.venezia@ambest.com
or
Jeffrey Mango, CPA
908-439-2200, ext. 5204
jeffrey.mango@ambest.com
or
Public Relations
Jim Peavy
908-439-2200, ext. 5644
james.peavy@ambest.com
or
Rachelle Morrow
908-439-2200, ext. 5378
rachelle.morrow@ambest.com

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