WEISS RATINGS

Weiss Further Downgrades Conseco's Safety Rating
to E+ (Very Weak)

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla., August 19, 2002 - Following across-the-board downgrades to "Weak" in June 2002, Weiss Ratings, Inc. has further downgraded 12 subsidiaries of the Conseco Group of insurance companies following the company's difficulty in restructuring its debt.

The high level of debt the company has carried for many years as a result of its aggressive acquisition strategy has long been a concern of the rating agency. Conseco Direct Life Insurance Company was the first subsidiary identified by Weiss as "Weak" and vulnerable to failure when it was downgraded from C- (Fair) to D+ (Weak) in November 2000.

Since June 1991, Weiss has never rated any of the Conseco subsidiaries higher than C+ (Fair). The consistently mediocre ratings were primarily due to Conseco's risky investment policy and its high level of debt, the servicing of which is an impediment to strong capital growth.

"The company's aggressive growth strategy throughout the 1990s has long been a concern," commented Melissa Gannon, vice president of Weiss Ratings, Inc. "Therefore, it's not surprising to find them in serious trouble today."

Weiss issues safety ratings on more than 15,000 financial institutions, including life and health insurers, HMOs, Blue Cross Blue Shield plans, property and casualty insurers, 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.

Consumers needing more information on the financial safety of a specific company 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.


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