A.M. Best Affirms Palisades Group B++ Rating

(Berkeley Heights, NJ) - The Palisades Group today announced that A.M. Best, the world's oldest and most authoritative insurance rating and information source, has affirmed the Palisades Group's financial strength rating. The rating agency also removed the group from being "under review" as a result of Palisades' announcement of its intention to purchase Prudential Financial's (NYSE: PRU) New Jersey property and casualty insurance companies in May 2003. Palisades Safety and Insurance Association's rating was affirmed as a B++ with a stable outlook. In the same action, A.M. Best granted a B++ rating to the High Point Insurance Companies, the name under which the acquired companies now do business.

Palisades received regulatory approval for the acquisition on October 31, 2003. Effective November 1, 2003, the acquired companies initiated operations under the name the High Point Insurance Companies.

"We are very pleased with A.M. Best's decision. From the beginning, we were confident that this transaction was a positive development for Palisades," said Gerry Wilson, President and CEO of Palisades.

"It was very important to us to preserve the strength of Palisades for our policyholders and agents," Mr. Wilson added. "We think the manner in which we pursued the High Point opportunity achieved this important objective, and today's announcement by A.M. Best is an affirmation of that."

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