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HARLEYSVILLE GROUP COMMENTS ON STORM LOSSES AND 1992 EARNINGS

 HARLEYSVILLE, Pa., Jan. 8 /PRNewswire/ -- Harleysville Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: HGIC), a regional insurance holding company, estimates its claims from the winter storm that hit the Middle Atlantic states and New England on Dec. 10-13 will reduce net income by $2.3 million, or approximately $.18 per share, after reinsurance, pooling and taxes.
 Harleysville Group also revised its estimates relating to Hurricane Andrew. The company now projects that Andrew's charge to 1992 earnings will be $3.8 million, or $.30 per share, after reinsurance, pooling and taxes. This estimate is revised from the $3.0 million, or $.24 per share, originally reported for the third quarter. The loss projections have increased because Hurricane Andrew resulted in more claims than originally expected and because of escalated construction costs.
 Reflecting the charges from Hurricane Andrew and the December storm, Harleysville Group said it expects 1992 net income to fall within a range of $2.11 to $2.17 per share for the year, which includes estimated aftertax realized investment gains of $.45 per share. Harleysville Group's 1991 net income was $2.05 per share, which included $.03 of aftertax realized investment gains.
 "Our performance for 1992 reflects the industry's worst year in recorded history for catastrophes, with insured losses estimated at $21.5 billion," explained Bradford W. Mitchell, chairman of the board and chief executive officer of Harleysville Group. "Prior to 1992, reported annual insured catastrophe loss estimates had not exceeded $7.6 billion. Our 1992 performance also reflects the continuing difficulties presented by the harsh underwriting environment and the industry downcycle that has persisted since the mid-1980s. We are gratified that, despite these adversities, Harleysville Group's nine- month combined ratio for 1992 was 107.6 percent, significantly less than the industry result of 113.4 percent. Harleysville Group remains committed to aggressively pursuing operating strategies to mitigate the effects of the difficult underwriting climate and continued downcycle."
 Harleysville Group Inc. is a regional holding company for six property and casualty insurers whose marketing territory encompasses the entire East Coast. The companies include Atlantic Insurance Company of Savannah, Connecticut Union Insurance Company, Harleysville Insurance Company of New Jersey, Huron Insurance Company, New York Casualty Insurance Company and Worcester Insurance Company. Harleysville Group also manages the operations of Berkshire Mutual Insurance Group, the financial results of which are not consolidated into Harleysville Group. Harleysville Group's property/casualty subsidiaries are rated A+ (Superior) by the A.M. Best Company.
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 /CONTACT: Frederick W. Baker, 215-256-5287, or Randy Buckwalter, 215-256-5288 (both media); or Mark R. Cummins, 215-256-5025, or Bruce J. Magee, 215-256-5011 (both for investors), all of Harleysville Group/
 (HGIC)


CO: Harleysville Group, Inc. ST: Pennsylvania IN: INS SU: ERP

CC -- PH001 -- 2928 01/08/93 07:53 EST
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Date:Jan 8, 1993
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