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The Hartford Urges Business Owners to Make Survival Planning a Key New Year's Resolution.

The Hartford's free 'Surviving Beyond Disaster' online webinar is now available 24/7 to help mitigate loss and speed recovery

HARTFORD, Conn., Dec. 28 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Some catastrophes can cause major damage on a small business no matter how many defenses are put in place, but many can be mitigated with proper planning. As the year ends and business owners focus on future challenges, The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc. urges businesses to be vigilant to all the threats they face.

(Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20051208/HARTFORDLOGO )

According to The Hartford, natural disasters account for only about 5 percent of the calamities that typically affect businesses. Approximately 68 percent of calamities are caused by human error, 25 percent by technology failures and 2 percent by intentional malice.

While commercial enterprises are assessing their plans for 2006, The Hartford's new loss control webinar is readily accessible with disaster recovery planning tools to help them prepare for all manner of crisis, both natural and man-made.

"The need for disaster preparation for small businesses has never been more important," said Jim Ruel, senior vice president, small business operations, at The Hartford. "We know that half of companies suffering a disaster with no recovery plan will fold within two years, and that's not a result anyone wants to see. If our webinar can help spur action before disaster strikes, we're meeting our goal."

The new webinar, "Surviving Beyond Disaster," is a 22-minute presentation that walks small business owners through preparation for various types of disasters, including natural disasters such as flood and wildfire, and man- made calamities such as human error or industrial sabotage. The webinar helps businesses create a 10-step plan to handle a catastrophic situation.

This fall, The Hartford unveiled the webinar at the Silver Anniversary Conference of the Association of Small Business Development Centers (ASBDC), a consortium of private enterprise, government, higher education and local nonprofit economic development organizations. Although initially made available only to the ASBDC counselors, the webinar now can be accessed free by anyone through a link on The Hartford's small business Web site http://www.sb.thehartford.com/.

"For many years, The Hartford provided in-person seminars to help small businesses prepare for the inevitability of disasters, but we were limited by venue and time in the number of people we could reach with this critical business continuity information," said Ruel. "Now, through the Internet, we've expanded our reach and look forward to bringing our message far and wide.

"Our new webinar can be accessed any time from any online computer, so business owners can fit in time to plan for business recovery. In just an hour, they can help ensure continuation of their business and their employees' livelihood," Ruel added. The webinar format makes "Surviving Beyond Disaster" a convenient tool for staff meetings, presentations, or anywhere business owners have an Internet connection.

In addition to the webinar, small business owners can also review other online resources for business insurance and risk management basics at http://www.sb.thehartford.com/.

The Hartford is one of the largest financial services and insurance companies in the U.S., with worldwide revenues of $22.7 billion in 2004. The company is a leading provider of investment products, life insurance and group benefits; automobile and homeowners products; and business property-casualty insurance. International operations are located in Japan, Brazil and the United Kingdom. The Hartford's Internet address is http://www.thehartford.com/.

Some of the statements in this release may be considered forward-looking statements as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. We caution 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 those discussed in our Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, our 2004 Annual Report on Form 10-K and the other filings we make with the Securities and Exchange Commission. We assume no obligation to update this release, which speaks as of the date issued.
 Contacts:
 Sue Honeyman
 860-547-4976
 shoneyman@thehartford.com

 Victoria O'Brien
 860-547-4938
 victoria.obrien@thehartford.com



CONTACT: Sue Honeyman, +1-860-547-4976, shoneyman@thehartford.com, or Victoria O'Brien, +1-860-547-4938, victoria.obrien@thehartford.com, both of The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc.

Web site: http://www.thehartford.com/ http://www.sb.thehartford.com/
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Dec 28, 2005
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