Hartford, Conn. - The Hartford Financial Services Group Inc., headquartered in Hartford, Conn., has created a new office in the greater Chicago area dedicated solely to processing claims that arise out of catastrophic events.The new catastrophe office will function as part of The Hartford's existing property claim operations in Chicago, and will focus on significant losses that arise from either man-made or natural disasters.

Staffed by a team of 36 claims representatives, the new catastrophe office will enhance the company's ability to respond to the unique needs of customers following a catastrophic event, such as a devastating hurricane.

"The company chose this area as the right place for a catastrophe office because of its strategic, central location in the country and safe distance from storm-prone coastal areas," explains Vicky Pace, assistant vice president of field claim operations at The Hartford. "At this site, the team can be fully staffed and ready to serve The Hartford's customers even when other areas of the country are experiencing the impact of a disaster."

The Hartford created the catastrophe office as part of its analysis of trends from the past two hurricane seasons. The company anticipates that this new unit will help The Hartford in preparation for the 2006 storm season and beyond.

"The last two storm seasons were two of the worst on record," says Bob Wilkey, assistant vice president of catastrophe management at The Hartford. "The Hartford will now be even better equipped for disasters that lie ahead. Our focus continues to be on delivering exceptional service to customers who experience the emotional trauma and property loss caused by a catastrophic event."

Additional information is also available by clicking the Catastrophe Information Center link located on The Hartford's Web site at http://www.thehartford.com/catinfo. The Web site also provides its customers with advice to prepare for and deal with the impact of a catastrophic event.

Source: PRNewswire

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