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New Merger Expected to Enhance Insurance for WEVA Members
April 28, 2004

Sarasota, FL - The popular equipment and general liability insurance program for WEVA International members, underwritten by The St Paul Companies, got a healthy booster shot earlier this month with news that the expected merger of St Paul and Travelers Property Casualty Corp. has been completed.

The successful merger combines two of the nation’s leading property-liability insurance companies into one entity, called St Paul Travelers, with total assets of approximately $109 billion, shareholders’ equity of $20 billion, and a total capital base of approximately $26 billion, according to company reports. St Paul Travelers, headquartered in St. Paul, MN, is now the second-largest commercial U.S. property-liability insurance company.

This combination of two industry leaders positions us to better fulfill our commitment to serve independent agents and brokers and our insured customers," said Jay S. Fishman, Chief Executive Officer of St. Paul Travelers. "We are grateful for the strong support for this merger demonstrated by shareholders, agents, brokers, employees and the communities we serve. We are excited to now move forward as one entity that has the experience and resources of both companies, coupled with an unsurpassed breadth of insurance products,” Fishman said.

"St. Paul Travelers brings together the best of both companies, including skilled and dedicated employees with similar performance-based cultures and underwriting skills. The merger also creates a stronger national distribution network across all product lines," said Robert I. Lipp, Chairman of St. Paul Travelers. "We look forward to exploring the expanded opportunities available to the independent agents and brokers we serve, created through St. Paul Travelers' broad product array and our continued appetite for growth."

Industry observers noted St Paul Travelers is now uniquely positioned as the commercial insurer of choice for independent administrators and brokers across the United States. The combined company (rated “A” Excellent by AM Best) also offers homeowners, auto and other insurance products for individuals and families under the highly-regarded Travelers brand.

WEVA International’s strength in numbers attracted the underwriting power of St Paul over three years ago, and resulted in the transition from the insurance program’s previous underwriter. Completed in a seamless manner, the transition to St Paul simultaneously lowered rates and expanded insurance coverage for WEVA members, related Roy Chapman, Chairman of WEVA International.

“The new merger is expected to further expand the ability of St Paul Travelers to write a broader class of business, and further enhance the outstanding service that St Paul has been providing to WEVA members in claims service, streamlined billing, and other key areas,” said Brad Buell, President of Buell Insurance (Libertyville, IL), which has administered the equipment and general liability insurance for WEVA International members since 1997. Buell said the merger, which is not expected to increase rates, will be completed in a manner that is seamless to all St Paul policyholders.

For additional information about insurance benefits for WEVA International members contact the WEVA International office at 941-923-5334 or email info@weva.com.

WEVA International is the largest nonprofit trade association representing professional wedding and event videographers. The association is dedicated to advancing the professional interests of wedding and event videographers worldwide through continuing education, technical support, group benefits, advocacy committees and professional development training. For more information regarding professional videography and WEVA International activities and membership benefits, visit www.weva.com, or contact the association office at 941-923-5334 or email info@weva.com.


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