Insurer's data breach affecting Ohio consumers

October 30, 2007

Business First of Columbus

Hartford Financial Services Group Inc. policyholders in Ohio were included in a data security breach the company discovered last month, the Ohio Department of Insurance announced Monday.

The Hartford, Conn.-based insurer misplaced three backup tapes that contained personal information of 230,000 customers, including 9,200 Ohioans, mainly of the company's property lines. The incident was discovered Sept. 27 but Hartford has found no evidence that it was stolen, company spokeswoman Shannon Lapierre said.

Lapierre added that the information could only be read by extremely sophisticated equipment if it were stolen. As a cautionary measure, the company is offering one year of comprehensive credit protection from Equifax Inc. (NYSE:EFX) for all affected consumers, who already have been notified. Preliminary cost estimates for Hartford haven't been determined.

Hartford Financial (NYSE:HIG) had $326.7 billion in assets at the end of 2006 and recorded $2.75 billion in profit on $26.5 billion in revenue. The company has customers in nearly all 50 states.

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