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Marshall University Student-Athletes Get a Jump Start on Financial Planning with The Hartford's Playbook for Life

Basketball Hall of Famer Nancy Lieberman Shares her Personal Finance Fouls to Encourage Students to Start Planning for Tomorrow Today

January 24, 2007

HARTFORD, Conn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Playbook for Life, an award-winning national education program designed to help student-athletes score beyond the playing field, is bringing personal finance 101 to students at Marshall University on Jan. 29. Developed by The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc. (NYSE: HIG), working closely with the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), Playbook for Life gives college students the basic financial knowledge required for personal success.

According to a survey by The Hartford, 75 percent of student-athletes said they wish they had been taught more about how to plan for their financial future. Among student-athletes in West Virginia, nearly half (48.2 percent) report that they have not yet begun planning for their financial future after college, yet more than one-third (36.1 percent) said they expect to become millionaires. On average, student-athletes nationwide anticipate having a debt of $17,448 on graduation. However, nearly one-third (30.4 percent) of West Virginia student-athletes report that they will carry more than $20,000 total debt after graduating college.

At the Marshall University event, Nancy Lieberman, a former U.S. Olympian, Old Dominion and WNBA player, and former head coach of the Detroit Shock will draw on her own personal experiences and make comparisons between sports and life in the real world to underscore the importance of financial planning. A current ESPN and NBA TV basketball analyst, Lieberman will be joined by Bill Poutre, adjunct professor of entrepreneurship and head coach of the NCAA Division I mens golf team at the University of Hartford, who will provide his own lively stories of college finances as well as practical tips and informational content in an engaging and understandable style.

Im excited to help the students at Marshall University understand how to build a solid financial future and avoid making the mistakes that I made mistakes I could have easily avoided if I had something like the Playbook for Life at that critical stage, explained Lieberman. Knowledge of personal finance basics is an essential life skill; our goal is to empower students to make smart decisions that will lead them on the road to success.

With the Playbook for Life program, students not only at Marshall University, but also throughout the country, can take advantage of the free resources available in the guidebook and Web site, www.playbook.thehartford.com. From understanding the risks of bad credit to budgeting for housing and living costs, the guidebook features practical, easy-to-use information on the fundamentals of personal finance needed to start planning for the future.

The goal of the Playbook program is a laudable one to educate student-athletes across the country on the benefits of sound financial planning and provide them with tools and resources to implement while they are in college, and once they graduate, said NCAA President Myles Brand. Understanding the basics of job benefits, credit, debt, saving and investing will serve them well in any career path they choose.

Lieberman and fellow members of Team Hartford a group of former student and professional athletes who have found success both in and out of sports have brought the Playbook for Lifes financial planning message to students at 12 colleges and universities, in addition to Marshall University.

The Playbook for Life was created by The Hartford, as part of the companys philanthropic focus on education and its corporate partnership with the NCAA, to help student-athletes gain a solid understanding of personal finance. Since its launch in March 2005, the program has been widely praised by students, coaches, teachers and parents as a valuable resource for all students and young adults.

The Hartford survey was conducted among 5,585 student-athletes in all NCAA divisions by Impulse Research Corporation in February 2006 with a margin of error of +/- 3 percent.

The NCAA is a membership-led nonprofit association of colleges and universities committed to supporting academic and athletic opportunities for more than 380,000 student-athletes at more than 1,000 member colleges and universities. Each year, more than 49,000 student-athletes compete in NCAA Championships in Division I, II and III sports. For more information, go to www.ncaa.org.

The Hartford, a Fortune 100 company, is one of the nation's largest financial services and insurance companies, with 2005 revenues of $27.1 billion. The Hartford is a leading provider of investment products, life insurance and group benefits; automobile and homeowners products; and business property and casualty insurance. International operations are located in Japan, Brazil and the United Kingdom. The Hartford's Internet address is www.thehartford.com.

HIG-C

Some of the statements in this release should be considered forward-looking statements as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These include statements about our future results of operations. 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, without limitation, those discussed in our Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, our 2005 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.

Contact:

The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc.
Pamela Rekow, 860-547-8990
pamela.rekow@thehartford.com
or
Ilene Lefland, 203-378-1152 x109
ilene@cjpcom.com

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