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DUFF & PHELPS: THE WESTERN AND SOUTHERN LIFE INSURANCE COMPANY AND SUBSIDIARIES CLAIMS PAYING ABILITY RATED 'AAA'

 CHICAGO, Jan. 3 /PRNewswire/ -- Duff & Phelps Credit Rating Co. has assigned a "AAA" (Triple-A) claims paying ability rating to The Western and Southern Life Insurance Company (WSLIC). The rating reflects the company's outstanding performance in the home service market, capable management team, and very strong capitalization. Duff & Phelps also has assigned a "AAA" (Triple-A) claims paying ability to WSLIC's wholly owned subsidiaries, Western-Southern Life Assurance Company and Columbus Life Insurance Company, based on Duff & Phelps' understanding that WSLIC is committed to maintaining the financial strength of these subsidiaries as they develop.
 WSLIC is a mutual life insurance company established in 1888 and headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio. Ninety-four percent of the company's home service field force is located in twelve midwest and south-central states, and the company has superior market penetration in many rural communities within these states. In recent years, WSLIC has moved to reduce its reliance on the somewhat mature home service business by diversifying into other insurance markets. In 1982, the company acquired Columbus Life Insurance Company and its established general agency system as a means to penetrate the middle and upper income insurance markets. In 1992, the company began selling annuities through financial institutions using its new marketing arm, IFS Financial Services, Inc.
 WSLIC as a stand alone had $3.9 billion of admitted assets ($7.1 billion on a consolidated basis) and $753 million of adjusted surplus as of Sept. 30, 1993. The company's financial strength is further enhanced by conservative reserving practices and large unrealized gains in a non-insurance subsidiary. The company's investment portfolio is well managed. Surplus exposure to below investment grade bonds and troubled real estate as of yearend 1992 was 2.7 percent and 2.6 percent, respectively.
 -0- 1/3/94
 /CONTACT: John F. Bareiss of Duff & Phelps, 312-368-3162/


CO: Western And Southern Life Insurance Company ST: Ohio IN: INS SU: RTG

PS -- NY026 -- 8467 01/03/94 10:58 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jan 3, 1994
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