updated 1/3/2011 8:45:54 AM ET 2011-01-03T13:45:54

HOUSTON, Jan. 3, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- HCC Insurance Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:HCC) today announced that Fitch Ratings has affirmed the Insurer Financial Strength (IFS) ratings of "AA" for the following insurance company subsidiaries:

  • Houston Casualty Company
  • Avemco Insurance Company
  • U.S. Specialty Insurance Company
  • HCC Specialty Insurance Company
  • HCC Life Insurance Company
  • Perico Life Insurance Company
  • American Contractors Indemnity Company
  • United States Surety Company

The Issuer Default Rating (IDR) for HCC Insurance Holdings, Inc. was affirmed at "A+" and the debt rating on the $300 million 6.300% Senior Notes due 2019 of the holding company remain at "A".

For the affirmed ratings above, the Ratings Outlook is Stable.

"We are pleased that Fitch Ratings has affirmed our AA rating which allows our policyholders to take risk with confidence," HCC President and Chief Executive Officer John N. Molbeck, Jr., said.

Headquartered in Houston, Texas, HCC Insurance Holdings, Inc. is a leading international specialty insurance group with offices across the United States and in the United Kingdom, Spain and Ireland. As of September 30, 2010, HCC had assets of $9.3 billion and shareholders' equity of $3.3 billion. HCC's major domestic and international insurance companies have a financial strength rating of "AA (Very Strong)" from Standard & Poor's Corporation. HCC's major domestic insurance companies have a financial strength rating of "AA (Very Strong)" from Fitch Ratings, "A1 (Good Security)" from Moody's Investors Service, Inc., and "A+ (Superior)" by A.M. Best Company, Inc.

For more information about HCC, please visit http://www.hcc.com .

Forward-looking statements contained in this press release are made under "safe harbor" provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and involve a number of risks and uncertainties. The types of risks and uncertainties which may affect the Company are set forth in its periodic reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

CONTACT:  HCC Insurance Holdings, Inc.
          Jonathan Lee, Director of Investor Relations
          (713) 996-1156

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