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Citizens and Hanover Insurance Introduce Agency Portal

                New system aggregates and enriches agent tools

WORCESTER, Mass., Sept. 9 /PRNewswire/ -- The Citizens and Hanover Insurance Companies have launched The Agency Place, a new, web-based agency portal that provides its network of independent agents with centralized access to all of the information and tools they need to conduct business in the most efficient and simplest manner possible. The Agency Place is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, making it easier for agents to conduct business on their own schedules.

"We're very pleased to offer this powerful new resource to our agency partners," said Marita Zuraitis, president of the property and casualty companies of Allmerica Financial Corporation (NYSE: AFC), the parent company to both Citizens and Hanover. "The portal enables agents to accomplish their work more quickly and efficiently, on their own terms, and at times that are convenient for them. It also simplifies their daily interactions with the company by consolidating several resources into one easy-to-access and easy- to-use interface, helping them to increase productivity, and ultimately profitability."

The Agency Place not only provides quicker access to information and faster transaction processing, it also provides agents with easy access to detailed billing, claims, customer and policy information. Agents also have access to an extensive library of online documents, forms, manuals and other informational resources that they need to do business with Citizens and Hanover.

Rollout and Reaction

The portal, currently in the initial rollout stage, is available to all independent agents representing Citizens and Hanover. Customer service representatives, producers and agency principals who have begun using the new system have been impressed.

Brett S. Kern, commercial lines account executive with The Spectrum Insurance Agency in Rockford, Illinois, uses The Agency Place as a key resource for accessing the important client and policy billing information he needs to provide efficient and timely service to his customers.

"The Agency Place is a lifesaver for us," he said. "Not only is the site attractive and well-organized, it's easy to use and enables us to get to the information we need when we need it. It rounds out the package of services we receive from Citizens and Hanover very nicely and has made a huge difference to us."

"The Agency Place offers our office staff the ability to provide our clients with instant answers to their concerns," said Janet L. Peppler, president, The Peppler Agency, Grosspoint, Michigan. "As an [agency] owner, the Citizens portal has instilled confidence that my staff is able to service our clients to the fullest; there is nothing more impressive (and expected) in today's technology times than to be on 'Real Time' to service our clients for policy retrieval. The losing agency will answer the client 'Let me check and get back with you'. The winning agency will have the customer's trust with instant answers to questions that are important to them and answered immediately."

"It [The Agency Place] is really first class in ease of navigation," said Jim Shealy, vice president and partner of the Hardegree Insurance Agency in Atlanta, Georgia. "It's especially easy to make inquiries on the system, which is saving us a huge amount of time and helping us respond to our customers more quickly."

Kavin K. Smith, Director of Brokerage Operations at Palmer & Cay, said "The Agency Place demonstrates Citizens and Hanover's commitment to deliver outstanding technology solutions. Billing inquiries and claims status are important to our clients -- they expect and deserve fast and accurate service. This portal will enable us to be even more efficient and to be even more responsive to our clients."

"We see the addition of our agency portal as another key step along our journey to build a world class company," said Zuraitis. "It provides technology that adds value -- not complexity -- to the work process, and reinforces the commitment we made to our agency partners to provide more and more capabilities to support ease of doing business."

About Citizens & Hanover

Howell, Michigan-based Citizens Insurance Company of America, founded in 1915, and Worcester, Massachusetts-based The Hanover Insurance Company, founded in 1852, offer a range of property and casualty insurance coverages to individuals, families and business through a wide network of independent agents. The Citizens and Hanover Insurance Companies are ranked among the top 30 property and casualty insurers in the country and are members of the Allmerica Financial companies, a group of insurers led by Allmerica Financial Corporation, a Fortune 500 company.

     Investors: Sujata Mutalik, (508) 855-3457
     E-mail: smutalik@allmerica.com

     Media: Todd M. Peckham, (508) 855-4460
     E-mail: tpeckham@allmerica.com
SOURCE  Allmerica Financial Corporation
    -0-                             09/09/2004
    /CONTACT:  Sujata Mutalik, +1-508-855-3457, smutalik@allmerica.com, or
Todd M. Peckham, +1-508-855-4460, tpeckham@allmerica.com both of Allmerica
Financial Corporation/

CO:  Citizens Insurance Company of America; The Hanover Insurance Company;
     Allmerica Financial Corporation
ST:  Massachusetts

-- NETH030 --
9867 09/09/200415:02 EDThttp://www.prnewswire.com

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