Hartford, Conn. - In addition to traditional checks and electronic fund transfers, which deposit emergency funds directly into a customer's bank account, those who sustain losses from a natural or man-made disaster now have the option of receiving money for certain covered expenses with an emergency claim card from The Hartford. This can include coverage for the costs associated with smaller, but vital, day-to- day living essentials.The Hartford Emergency Claim Card is a debit card, issued by JPMorgan Chase, which can be used at ATM machines nationwide to withdraw cash or at stores that accept point-of-sale purchases. Point-of-sale purchases require a Personal Identification Number (PIN), unlike credit card purchases, which require only the card and a signature.

This card rounds out a suite of payment solutions designed by The Hartford to enhance the customer service experience and ease the financial burdens created after a catastrophe strikes, such as a devastating hurricane. The company expects it to be an important resource, especially in the wake of Hurricane Katrina and the past two storm seasons.

"People whose homes have been destroyed by a hurricane or other catastrophe need food and shelter, of course, but they also need basic items like toothbrushes, clean clothes, and diapers," says Juan Andrade, newly appointed executive vice president of The Hartford's property/casualty operations' claim organization. "It's important that our customers have a convenient way to buy these items immediately. Providing them with a choice can make it easier to get though the aftermath of a catastrophe."

Andrade also said that the use of a PIN with the emergency claim cards creates security for customers. "Some people try to take advantage of the chaos after a natural catastrophe, but with our new Emergency Claim Card, a stolen or lost card is of no use to anyone without the PIN."

Upon review of the claim, The Hartford Emergency Claim Cards will be issued by company claim handlers directly to customers at a catastrophe site or the nearest accessible location. The claim handlers will then determine the amount of funds to be allocated and have the card activated within 24 hours.

Customers can learn more about reporting a claim by clicking the Hurricane Information Center link located on The Hartford's website at http://www.thehartford.com/catinfo . The Web site also provides advice on preparing for and dealing with the impact of a catastrophic event.

Source: The Hartford Financial Services Group Inc.

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