updated 5/19/2011 9:16:25 AM ET 2011-05-19T13:16:25

HOUSTON, May 19, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- HCC Insurance Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:HCC) today announced that Standard & Poor's Corporation has affirmed the Financial Strength 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
  • American Contractors Indemnity Company
  • United States Surety Company
  • HCC International Insurance Company PLC
  • HCC Europe Seguros y Reaseguros, S.A.
  • HCC Reinsurance Company Limited

Additionally, the Issuer Credit Rating 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 remains at "A."

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

In addition, Standard & Poor's has upgraded HCC's Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) rating from "Adequate With Positive Trend" to "Strong."

"We are very pleased that Standard & Poor's has affirmed our AA rating. The AA rating is a confirmation of our business strategy, consistent underwriting performance and balance sheet management. In addition, S&P's ERM rating upgrade to "Strong" reflects our commitment to risk management," said John N. Molbeck, Jr., HCC's Chief Executive Officer.

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 March 31, 2011, HCC had assets of $9.3 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

© Copyright 2012, GlobeNewswire, Inc. All Rights Reserved

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