updated 10/8/2010 7:46:07 AM ET 2010-10-08T11:46:07

RICHFIELD, Ohio, Oct. 8, 2010 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- National Interstate Insurance Company, a leader in alternative risk transfer (ART) insurance for the transportation industry, reports that participation in the company's ART component has grown to over 500 customers as of August 31, 2010. The company has steadily grown the ART component over the past 15 years.  National Interstate's nearly two dozen ART programs represent 62% of the company's gross premiums written as of June 30, 2010.

"Reaching 500 alternative risk transfer members is a significant milestone for National Interstate, and we are extremely pleased with our ongoing success in this part of our business," said Dave Michelson, President and Chief Executive Officer. "ART programs offer an improved risk management method that is effective throughout all market cycles and economic conditions. We continue to see quality operators turning to alternative risk transfer as a long-term insurance solution. Since they offer the opportunity for stable insurance pricing coupled with the potential for reduced expenses and return of unused premiums, ART is a logical approach for safety-conscious companies. "

"Our ability to creatively and quickly design new ART programs has really become a core competency for National Interstate," said Terry Phillips, Senior Vice President. "We are also proud that our newest group programs, those that we have launched in the last year and a half, have doubled their membership since January 2010. These new programs have allowed National Interstate to expand into additional markets, and continue to build on our expertise and experience as an alternative risk transfer industry leader. We have come a long way since we wrote our first ART program in 1995, and we look forward to developing additional innovative programs to meet the unique needs of our customers and agent partners."

National Interstate is rated "A" (Excellent) VIII by A.M. Best Company, and has a 21-year history of solid growth and financial stability. If you are a company or insurance agent that would like to learn more about National Interstate's ART insurance programs, contact Dan Keenan, at 800-929-1500 x1413, or email dan.keenan@natl.com.

About National Interstate

National Interstate Insurance Company, a wholly owned subsidiary of National Interstate Corporation (Nasdaq:NATL), is a specialty property and casualty insurance holding company with a niche orientation and focus on the transportation industry. We differentiate ourselves by offering insurance products and services designed to meet the unique needs of targeted insurance buyers.  Our products include insurance for passenger, moving and storage, and truck transportation companies, alternative risk transfer, or captive insurance programs for commercial risks, specialty personal lines consisting of insurance products focused primarily on recreational vehicle owners and small commercial vehicle accounts, and transportation and general commercial insurance in Hawaii and Alaska. We offer our insurance products through multiple distribution channels including independent agents and brokers, affiliated agencies and agent Internet initiatives. Our insurance subsidiaries are rated "A" (Excellent) by A.M. Best Company. Founded in 1989, we are headquartered in Richfield, Ohio with operations in Honolulu, Hawaii, Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, St. Thomas, Virgin Islands and Fenton, Missouri.

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