Weiss Ratings

Policyholders Say "Financial Strength" is the Primary Factor
in Selecting an Insurer, According to Weiss Survey

Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., June 17, 2002 - More than one-third of policyholders polled indicated that "financial strength of the insurer" is their primary consideration when selecting a life insurance policy, according to a recent online survey conducted by Weiss Ratings, Inc., the nation's leading independent provider of ratings and analyses of financial services companies, mutual funds, and stocks.

The results of the online survey were based on voluntary responses from 682 individuals visiting the Weiss Ratings website (www.WeissRatings.com). Presented with the question, "What is the primary factor influencing your selection of a life insurance policy?," respondents were asked to vote once for one of eight choices. The following is a summary of all responses received:

What is the primary factor influencing your selection of a life insurance policy?
• Financial strength of the insurer 38.0%
• Low annual premium 23.1%
• Reputation/name recognition of insurer 12.2%
• Helpful agent and staff 6.8%
• Willingness to accept pre-existing health conditions 6.0%
• Existing relationship with the company 5.7%
• Agent's presentation 5.4%
• Other 2.7%

"Due to the long-term nature of life insurance, it's absolutely essential that consumers look at an insurer's financial condition before considering the purchase of a policy," said David Lackey, president of Weiss Ratings. "Low premiums are nice, but they become meaningless if the insurer is out of business when it comes time to pay a death claim."

Consumers needing more information on the financial safety of a specific insurer can purchase a rating and summary analysis for as little as $7.95 through the Weiss Ratings website at www.WeissRatings.com, or starting at $15 by calling 800-289-9222.

Weiss Ratings, Inc. issues safety ratings on more than 15,000 financial institutions, including life and health insurers, property and casualty insurers, Blue Cross Blue Shield plans, HMOs, banks, and brokers. Weiss also rates the risk-adjusted performance of more than 11,000 mutual funds and more than 9,000 stocks. Weiss Ratings is the only major rating agency that receives no compensation from the companies it rates. Revenues are derived strictly from sales of its products to consumers, businesses and libraries.

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