updated 4/25/2011 8:16:56 PM ET 2011-04-26T00:16:56

HOUSTON, April 25, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- HCC Insurance Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:HCC) today announced that the Company estimates pretax losses, after reinsurance and all reinstatement premium, from first quarter 2011 catastrophes in Australia, New Zealand and Japan of $51.5 million. The after-tax loss of $33.5 million from these events represents 1.0% of the Company's 2010 year-end shareholders' equity. The impact of these catastrophes was wide ranging, impacting the Company's property treaty, property direct and facultative, energy, accident and health and contingency lines of business. In determining this loss estimate, the Company used its underwriters' estimates based on their review of the Company's in force contracts, as well as preliminary indications from brokers and clients and proprietary models. The Company's actual losses from these events may differ materially from the estimates due to the uncertainties involved in making such estimates.

John N. Molbeck, Jr., HCC President and Chief Executive Officer, commented, "Based on our current knowledge, the amount of loss from these events is within our expectations and within our reinsurance programs."

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 December 31, 2010, HCC had assets of $9.1 billion and shareholders' equity of $3.3 billion. HCC's major domestic and international insurance companies have financial strength ratings of "AA (Very Strong)" from Standard & Poor's Corporation, "A+ (Superior)" from A.M. Best Company Inc., "AA (Very Strong)" from Fitch Ratings, and "A1 (Good Security)" from Moody's Investors Service, 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: Doug Busker, Director of Investor Relations
         HCC Insurance Holdings, Inc.
         Telephone:  (713) 996-1192

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