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Donegal Group Inc. Announces Third Quarter Earnings

MARIETTA, Pa., Oct. 22, 2010 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Donegal Group Inc. (Nasdaq:DGICA) (Nasdaq:DGICB) today reported that it had net income for the quarter ended September 30, 2010 of $4,909,879, or $.20 per share of Class A common stock on a diluted basis. Catastrophe and other weather-related losses impacted pre-tax results for the third quarter of 2010 by approximately $9.9 million after reinsurance, compared to $5.9 million for the third quarter of 2009. The catastrophe losses resulted from a number of wind and hail storms in the Company's Midwestern region. The Company reported net income of $6,744,851, or $.27 per share of Class A common stock on a diluted basis, for the third quarter of 2009.

Revenues for the third quarter of 2010 were $103,750,318, an increase of 9.3% over revenues for the third quarter of 2009, with net premiums earned of $94,948,843, an increase of 7.9% over net premiums earned for the year-earlier period. Net premiums written for the third quarter of 2010 were $101,905,860, representing an 8.8% increase over net premiums written for the third quarter of 2009, consisting of a 10.1% increase in commercial lines writings and an 8.4% increase in personal lines writings. Net premiums written for the third quarter of 2010 included $2.2 million in premiums assumed from Southern Mutual Insurance Company, which accounted for 2.3% of the overall increase.

The Company's combined ratio was 103.2% for the third quarter of 2010, reflecting the impact of the increased weather-related losses noted above as well as increases in fire losses and casualty claim severity compared to the third quarter of 2009.

The Company's expense ratio remained constant at 32.0% for the third quarters of 2010 and 2009, with both periods reflecting lower expenses incurred for underwriting-based incentive costs.

Net investment income was $4,709,458 for the third quarter of 2010, compared to $5,107,356 for the third quarter of 2009. The impact of lower fixed maturity investment yields offset investment income attributable to an increase in average invested assets compared to the year-earlier period. The Company had no impairments it considered to be other than temporary in its investment portfolio in the third quarters of 2010 or 2009.  Net realized investment gains from the sale of securities were $2,460,462 for the third quarter of 2010, compared to $189,230 for the year-earlier period.

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