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United Fire & Casualty Company Announces Receipt Of State Regulatory Approvals; Mercer Insurance Group Stockholders Vote To Approve Pending Acquisition

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa, March 16, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- United Fire & Casualty Company (Nasdaq:UFCS) today announced that it has received the required regulatory approvals from the California Department of Insurance, the New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance and the Pennsylvania Department of Insurance, relating to United Fire's proposed acquisition of Mercer Insurance Group, Inc. (Nasdaq:MIGP), thereby satisfying a condition of closing the transaction.

Also today in Pennington, New Jersey, Mercer Insurance's common stockholders voted overwhelmingly to approve the proposed acquisition of Mercer Insurance by United Fire. "We are very pleased that Mercer Insurance stockholders have approved this acquisition," said Randy A. Ramlo, president and chief executive officer of United Fire. "We feel they are a good, strategic fit with our current operations. We look forward to the company and its employees, agents and policyholders joining United Fire." On November 30, 2010, United Fire and Mercer Insurance announced that they had entered into the acquisition agreement.

The transaction remains subject to the satisfaction of other customary closing conditions. The acquisition is expected to close no later than March 31, 2011.

About United Fire & Casualty Company

Founded in 1946, United Fire & Casualty Company is engaged in the business of writing property and casualty insurance and life insurance and selling annuities. Our company's net premiums written totaled $463.9 million through the year ended December 31, 2010, and our market capitalization was $584.7 million at December 31, 2010.  

We are licensed as a property and casualty insurer in 43 states, plus the District of Columbia, and represented by approximately 800 independent agencies. The company's line of products consists of commercial insurance (including surety bonds) and personal insurance. Approximately 91 percent of property and casualty premiums written are commercial in nature. 

United Fire is rated A (Excellent) by A.M. Best Company. For the third consecutive year, United Fire was named a "Top 10 Ease of Doing Business Performer" for 2010 in Deep Customer Connections Inc.'s (DCC) eighth annual Ease of Doing Business (EDB) survey. The performance of more than 200 property and casualty carriers was assessed by 7,800 independent agents and brokers. They rated the importance of 11 key factors, ranging from underwriting responsiveness to handling claims promptly to employing effective, user-friendly technology. DCC specializes in helping property and casualty carriers achieve profitable growth by making it easy for their agents to work with them. DCC's EDB Index® is an industry benchmark of carriers' EDB performance. United Fire has also been named one of the most trustworthy publicly traded companies in America by Forbes and Audit Integrity. According to the stringent Audit Integrity standards for transparency and fair governance, less than five percent of the entire U.S. stock market qualifies for the list. 

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