Cooper Named President of United Heartland Insurance

Pfenninger retires after 20 years at helm

Jan 28, 2010, 10:00 ET from Accident Fund Holdings, Inc.

LANSING, Mich., Jan. 28 /PRNewswire/ -- Accident Fund Holdings, Inc. announces the appointment of Steve Cooper as president of United Heartland, a national workers compensation insurer based in New Berlin, Wisconsin, and a subsidiary of the holding company. Cooper succeeds Emil Pfenninger, who has led United Heartland since its founding in 1990.

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Cooper brings a wealth of talent and 21 years of property-casualty experience to the position. Prior to joining United Heartland, Cooper served as vice president of Claim Operations & TPA at Accident Fund Insurance Company of America, another Accident Fund Holdings subsidiary. Prior to joining Accident Fund, he served in various service center and claims leadership positions at Specialty Underwriters Alliance, General Electric Insurance Solutions, Metropolitan Life Insurance Company and Travelers Insurance Company. Cooper holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Political Science from Central Michigan University and an MBA from Indiana Wesleyan University.

"Steve Cooper is uniquely suited to build on the past success of United Heartland and the team," said Elizabeth R. Haar, president and CEO of Accident Fund Holdings. "Under Steve's direction, United Heartland will continue to flourish as a national player in workers compensation insurance, partnering with agents to deliver exceptional value to our policyholders.

"I would like to thank and recognize Emil Pfenninger for his leadership of United Heartland over the last 20 years. Emil is a special leader who built United Heartland into the growing, successful company that it is today."

Under Pfenninger, United Heartland created a culture of superior customer service to policyholders while delivering best-in-class claims management and loss-control services. In the last five years, United Heartland has expanded nationally, now has more than 260 employees, and writes more than $200 million in premium annually. In December, United Heartland moved into a newly built headquarters in New Berlin, a suburb of Milwaukee. Pfenninger will remain with United Heartland in the coming months to help in the transition of his responsibilities to Cooper and work on special projects with Accident Fund Holdings until his retirement in 2011.

About United Heartland

Headquartered in New Berlin, Wisconsin, United Heartland actively markets in Wisconsin, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Indiana, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia, and insures workers compensation clients across the country. United Heartland is rated "A" (Excellent) by A.M. Best and its business is underwritten by United Wisconsin Insurance Company, a wholly owned subsidiary of Accident Fund Holdings, Inc. For more information, visit United Heartland's Web site at

About Accident Fund Holdings, Inc.

Accident Fund Holdings, Inc. is the 10th largest workers compensation insurer in the United States and rated "A" (Excellent) by A.M. Best. Accident Fund Holdings operates through three wholly owned subsidiaries: Accident Fund Insurance Company of America, United Wisconsin Insurance Company (dba United Heartland) and CompWest Insurance Company. The holding company is wholly owned by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan.

SOURCE Accident Fund Holdings, Inc.