SIMSBURY, Conn. - The Hartford Financial Services Group Inc., for the third consecutive year, is the No. 1 seller of variable life insurance, posting a year-over-year sales increase of more than 28 percent in 2004.

The VALUE survey, published by the Tillinghast business of Towers Perrin, reports that The Hartford, through its issuing companies, sold $305.1 million in variable life insurance in 2004 new premium (new premium includes annualized premium and drop-in premium and includes single premium at 10 percent)  which is more than any other life insurer in America.  The Hartford's issuing companies are Hartford Life Insurance Co. and Hartford Life and Annuity Insurance Co.  The Hartford has been the No. 1 seller of variable life insurance since 2002, according to the VALUE study.

In addition, The Hartford was the leading seller of life insurance through stockbrokers, which includes wirehouses and regional broker-dealers, as well as banks in 2004, according to the LIMRA International U.S. Life Insurance Sales Report.  Sales of life insurance products measured by LIMRA International included variable universal life, variable life, universal life, whole life and term life.

"The Hartford built considerable momentum in 2004 and we are looking to continue riding that wave of success in 2005," said Michael Kalen, executive vice president and director of The Hartford's individual life division.  "Sales of variable universal life have rebounded strongly as have sales of The Hartford's entire line of individual life insurance products.  Life insurance is a growth business for us."

Kalen attributed the increase in variable universal life insurance to several factors, including enhancements to The Hartford's flagship product line, the introduction of an innovative new hybrid product, a renewed focus on long-term financial planning, and a general economic rebound.

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