A.M. Best Assigns Ratings to Securican General Insurance Company

/THIS PRESS RELEASE IS NOT FOR DISTRIBUTION TO ANY UNITED STATES NEWS SERVICE OR OTHERWISE IN THE UNITED STATES/

HIGH RIVER, AB, Dec. 23 /CNW/ - (TSX - WES, WES.PR.A, WES.PR.B, WES.PR.C, WES.PR.D, WES.DB) Western Financial Group ('the Company" or "Western") announced today that A.M. Best has assigned an interactive Financial Strength Rating (FSR) of B+ (good) and Issue Credit Rating (ICR) of "bbb-" to the Company's subsidiary, SecuriCan General Insurance Company (SecuriCan), reflecting improved operating performance and strength in its market segment.

SecuriCan is Canada's largest and most profitable underwriter of pet health insurance through its own brand name - Petsecure - as well as a number of white label agreements with national brand name companies. It also plays a supporting role in the placement and management of another of the Company's subsidiaries - HED - for their commercial "Protected Self-Insurance" programs.

"As a result of our continuing strength in underwriting results, we have been solidly and increasingly profitable in the past three years and 2009 will be no exception", said Randy Valpy, President and CEO of SecuriCan. "A.M. Best's interactive ratings reflect the market's growing confidence in our industry segments and future potential".

"As one of the business units of Western, we support SecuriCan obtaining an interactive rating with A.M. Best," said Scott Tannas, President and CEO of Western Financial Group. "It's important and appropriate that as SecuriCan grows, an independent financial analysis is available for our customers and financial stakeholders," he said.

Further details on A.M. Best's rating methodology can be found at www.ambest.com.

Western Financial Group is a leader in providing insurance, financial services and banking services in over 90 communities, to more than 500,000 individuals and businesses in Western Canada through its Network locations, its affiliated insurance brokers, Western Life Assurance Company, Bank West and SecuriCan General Insurance Company.

The Common Shares of Western Financial Group are traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol "WES".

SOURCE Western Financial Group

For further information: For further information: Arlene Beggs, Assistant to the President, Western Financial Group, (403) 652-2663, info@westernfg.ca


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