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A.M. Best Assigns Debt Ratings to The Hartford's Forthcoming Senior Notes.

OLDWICK, N.J. -- A.M. Best Co. has assigned debt ratings of "a-" to the forthcoming senior notes to be issued by The Hartford Financial Services Group, Incorporated (The Hartford) (Hartford, CT) [NYSE: HIG]. The notes are being issued in 5, 10 and 30-year tranches of at least $250 million each. This rating action is in line with The Hartford's existing senior debt ratings, which remain unchanged. The outlook for all ratings is stable.

The Hartford intends to use the net proceeds of the senior notes issuance to redeem $500 million of the aggregate principal amount of its 7.45% junior subordinated debentures, due 2050, pre-fund the $200 million of payments due at the maturity of Hartford Life, Inc.'s (Hartford, CT) 7.10% notes, due 2007 and for other general corporate purposes, including paying down a portion of its commercial paper portfolio. After this transaction, and the associated debt reduction, The Hartford's total debt-to-capital, by year-end 2006, is expected to be below 20%. The Hartford's GAAP interest coverage ratio remains strong at 10 times. It should be noted that both the financial leverage and coverage ratios have improved over the last few years and remain well within A.M. Best guidelines for its debt ratings. This improvement is reflective of solid earnings being generated by The Hartford's well diversified life and property/casualty operating subsidiaries.

For Best's Debt Ratings, all other Best's Ratings, an overview of the rating process and rating methodologies, please visit

For current Best's Ratings, independent data and analysis on more than 3,000 individual property/casualty companies and A.M. Best groups, please visit

A.M. Best Co., established in 1899, is the world's oldest and most authoritative insurance rating and information source. For more information, visit A.M. Best's Web site at
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Sep 28, 2006
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