A.M. Best Affirms Safeco Rating

August 2, 2004

A.M. Best Co. has affirmed the financial strength rating of A (Excellent) of Seattle-based Safeco Insurance Companies.

Concurrently, A.M. Best has also affirmed the “bbb+” rating on Safeco’s existing senior debt and the “bbb” rating on its capital securities. Additionally, A.M. Best has affirmed the indicative ratings to the remaining $275 million under the company’s shelf registration. The outlook for all the ratings is stable.

The rating affirmations follow the announcement by Safeco on Aug. 2, 2004, that it completed the sale of its Life and Investment operations to an investor group led by White Mountains Insurance Group Ltd. and Berkshire Hathaway Inc.

Proceeds from the sale, totaling $1.51 billion, will be used to retire debt and capital securities, return capital to shareholders and retain funds at the parent company for general corporate purposes.

These ratings reflect Safeco’s strong presence within the property/casualty industry, excellent capitalization and recently improved operating results following significant restructuring. Safeco maintains a diversified book of property/casualty business offering personal, commercial and surety lines in all 50 states, with a particular concentration in the Northwestern and Midwestern regions of the United States.

For a list of A.M. Best’s debt ratings, please visit http://www.ambest.com/debtratings/.

A.M. Best Co., established in 1899, is the world’s oldest and most authoritative insurance rating and information source. For more information, visit A.M. Best’s Web site at www.ambest.com.

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