updated 3/8/2011 3:20:33 PM ET 2011-03-08T20:20:33

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa, March 8, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- United Fire & Casualty Company (Nasdaq:UFCS), parent company of United Fire Group, is pleased to announce that Michael J. Sheeley has been promoted to vice president and chief operating officer of our subsidiary company, United Life Insurance Company. In this position, Mike will be responsible for the day-to-day operations of our life insurance segment, providing leadership and direction to a 50-member staff and an agency force over 2,700 agents strong.

Michael Sheeley




A photo accompanying this release is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=8849

Mike has been a member of our company since 1985. He has served in various capacities at United Fire, most recently as assistant vice president and personal lines underwriting manager. Mike has more than 25 years of experience in the insurance industry and holds a business management degree from the University of Northern Iowa.

"With over 22 years of management experience for United Fire Group, Mike understands our corporate culture and has already established relationships with a portion of our agency force," said President and CEO Randy Ramlo. "He has proven himself by producing profitable results and premium growth while successfully managing his departmental budget.

"Mike is an enthusiastic and dependable individual with strong communication skills. He is an energetic and dynamic leader who has demonstrated his abilities both in the industry and his community. I am confident that his positive attitude and leadership abilities will complement the successfulness of United Life. I know he is eager to further develop his knowledge of our life insurance company and will put forth any needed effort to accomplish this, while providing guidance and support to the staff and our agents."

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. 

Our subsidiary, United Life Insurance Company, is licensed in 28 states, represented by over 900 independent life agencies, and has been named to the Ward's 50 Life & Health Insurance Companies for five consecutive years (2006-2010).

The United Fire & Casualty Company logo is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=7089

For more information about United Fire, visit www.unitedfiregroup.com .

Disclosure of forward-looking statements

This release may contain forward-looking statements about our operations, anticipated performance and other similar matters. The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 provides a safe harbor under the Securities Act of 1933 and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 for forward-looking statements. The forward-looking statements are not historical facts and involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expected and/or projected. Such forward-looking statements are based on current expectations, estimates, forecasts and projections about our company, the industry in which we operate, and beliefs and assumptions made by management. Words such as "expect(s)," "anticipate(s)," "intend(s)," "plan(s)," "believe(s)," "continue(s)," "seek(s)," "estimate(s)," "goal(s)," "target(s)," "forecast(s)," "project(s)," "predict(s)," "should," "could," "may," "will continue," "might," "hope," "can" and other words and terms of similar meaning or expression in connection with a discussion of future operating, financial performance or financial condition, are intended to identify forward-looking statements. These statements are not guarantees of future performance and involve risks, uncertainties and assumptions that are difficult to predict. Therefore, actual outcomes and results may differ materially from what is expressed in such forward-looking statements. Information concerning factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements is contained in Part I Item 1A "Risk Factors" of our annual report on Form 10-K for the year ended December, 31, 2010, filed with the SEC on March 1, 2011. The risks identified on Form 10-K are representative of the risks, uncertainties, and assumptions that could cause actual outcomes and results to differ materially from what is expressed in forward-looking statements. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date of this release or as of the date they are made.

CONTACT: Randy A. Ramlo, President/CEO or
         Dianne M. Lyons, Vice President/CFO, 319-399-5700

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