The Hartford Comments On Its Highly Rated Commercial Mortgage-Backed Securities Portfolio

Press Release
Source: The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc.
November 20, 2008
Posted Nov. 25, 2008


HARTFORD, Conn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc. (NYSE: HIG) today responded to recent reports about the performance and outlook for the commercial real estate sector and its effects on Commercial Mortgage-Backed Securities (CMBS).

As of September 30, 2008, the company held a $15 billion CMBS portfolio, of which more than 80 percent was rated AAA or AA. In addition, the CMBS portfolio is broadly diversified in terms of geography, property type and vintage. The company’s overall investment portfolio was $90 billion at September 30, 2008.

Cash flows on the company’s CMBS portfolio, in the form of principal and interest, continue to perform as expected. In addition, each quarter, The Hartford stress tests the cash flows on its commercial mortgage-backed securities to understand the implications of future deterioration of the economy and the commercial real estate market. These stress tests are performed on the basis of a severe recession scenario and assume a number of factors, including significant declines in gross domestic product (GDP), increases in unemployment and declines in commercial property values.

Based on this analysis, the company believes it will continue to receive contractual principal and interest payments over time. As an insurance company, The Hartford is generally a long-term investor and intends to hold many of these securities to recovery.

In addition, within its overall investment portfolio, the company does not have any exposure to the two commercial mortgages within CMBX 5 that have been widely reported in the national media as likely to default.

The company’s investment management team is taking a series of actions aimed at repositioning the portfolio in light of current economic outlooks, with plans to enhance the overall credit quality of the general account. The company is currently investing in treasuries and other high-quality securities, and maintaining higher levels of liquidity than it has in recent quarters. Our investment decisions seek to balance risk, returns, capital and earnings.

About The Hartford

The Hartford, a Fortune 100 company, is one of the nation's largest financial services companies, with 2007 revenues of $25.9 billion. The Hartford is a leading provider of investment products, life insurance and group benefits; automobile and homeowners products; and business property and casualty insurance. International operations are located in Japan, the United Kingdom, Canada, Brazil and Ireland. The Hartford's Internet address is www.thehartford.com.

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Some of the statements in this release should be considered forward-looking statements as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These include statements about The Hartford’s future results of operations. The Hartford cautions investors that these forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance, and actual results may differ materially. Investors should consider the important risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ. These important risks and uncertainties include, without limitation, the difficulty in predicting the potential effect from the legislation and other governmental initiatives taken in response to the current financial crisis; the difficulty in predicting the company’s potential exposure for asbestos and environmental claims; the possible occurrence of terrorist attacks; the response of reinsurance companies under reinsurance contracts and the availability, pricing and adequacy of reinsurance to protect the company against losses; changes in financial and capital markets, including changes in interest rates, credit spreads, equity prices and foreign exchange rates; the inability to effectively mitigate the impact of equity market volatility on the company’s financial position and results of operations arising from obligations under annuity product guarantees; the possibility of unfavorable loss development; the incidence and severity of catastrophes, both natural and man-made; stronger than anticipated competitive activity; unfavorable judicial or legislative developments; the potential effect of domestic and foreign regulatory developments, including those which could increase the company’s business costs and required capital levels; the possibility of general economic and business conditions that are less favorable than anticipated; the company’s ability to distribute its products through distribution channels, both current and future; the uncertain effects of emerging claim and coverage issues; the amount of statutory capital that the Company has and the Company’s ability to hold sufficient statutory capital to maintain financial strength and credit ratings; a downgrade in the company’s financial strength or credit ratings; the ability of the company’s subsidiaries to pay dividends to the company; the company’s ability to adequately price its property and casualty policies; the ability to recover the company’s systems and information in the event of a disaster or other unanticipated event; potential for difficulties arising from outsourcing relationships; potential changes in Federal or State tax laws, including changes impacting the availability of the separate account dividends received deduction; losses due to defaults by others; the company’s ability to protect its intellectual property and defend against claims of infringement; and other risks and uncertainties discussed in The Hartford’s Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, the 2007 Annual Report on Form 10-K and other filings The Hartford makes with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The Hartford assumes no obligation to update this release, which speaks as of the date issued.

Contact:

The Hartford
Media Contact(s):
Shannon Lapierre, 860-547-5624
Shannon.Lapierre@thehartford.com
or
Debora Raymond, 860-547-9613
Debora.Raymond@thehartford.com
Investor Contact(s):
Rick Costello, 860-547-8480
Richard.Costello@thehartford.com
or
JR Reilly, 860-547-9140
JR.Reilly@thehartford.com

Source: The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc.

Copyright © 2008 FBIC (www.badfaithinsurance.org)



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