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The Hartford's "Bicentennial Bags" serve many purposes

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SIMSBURY, Conn. – The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc. is recycling its Food For Thought Campaign for a third year by giving out thousands of reusable tote bags that celebrate its 200 years of history and commitment to protecting our planet and Americans’ paychecks.

The Hartford’s benefits specialists will hand out approximately 300,000 eco-friendly bags at health and benefits enrollment fairs of employer clients throughout the U.S. The Hartford’s research found a continued need for education about group disability insurance.

“Our national survey found only 25% of Americans said they completely understand disability insurance. Yet, there’s a real need for paycheck protection. In our survey, 95% of consumers would have to change their lifestyle if they lost part of their family’s income for three to six months,” said Mike Fish, vice president of marketing for The Hartford’s Group Benefits. “With our totes and our on-site enrollers, we hope to get the word out that employees can take simple steps to live green and keep the ‘green’ rolling in even if they’re too hurt or sick to work.”

More employees are being asked by their employers to help pay for benefits, according to The Hartford’s survey. “We have the experience and products to help employers and employees with the continuing trend of voluntary benefits. We have a diversity of plans that can help protect employers’ bottom line and employees’ income,” Fish said. “Our benefits specialists are available to answer employees’ questions about coverage and to help employees better understand how paycheck protection can play an important role in their family finances.”

In addition, Americans can better understand paycheck protection by calculating their chance of being disabled – or Personal Disability Quotient – and creating a customized insurance profile.

“As Americans shop for benefits this enrollment season, we encourage everyone to put disability insurance in their shopping bag,” Fish said.

Green Giveaway

The Hartford’s totes celebrate The Hartford’s bicentennial as well as its green goals. The bags are emblazoned with the words, “The Hartford has stood tall for 200 years. Our trees should too.” They are also decorated with the phrase “rethink reuse recycle.”

The green giveaway will be promoted on The Hartford’s Twitter and Facebook pages. The reusable bag giveaway is part of The Hartford’s enterprise-wide strategy aimed at supporting a sustainable environment. Earlier this year, The Hartford held a 200-tree celebration on Arbor Day to mark its bicentennial year and encourage group benefits customers to sign up for electronic bill delivery. Employers protected by The Hartford’s group benefits plans can sign up for e-billing through March 31, 2011.

“Our paperless billing for group benefits clients is another example of how we’re working to remove the burden of benefits administration from employers’ shoulders,” Fish said. “With our e-billing, employers can receive e-mail reminders, access previous bills and pay premiums online by automatic transfer – completely bypassing the need to reconcile monthly premiums by hand.”

The Hartford has been recognized for its environmental stewardship by the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), an international, independent non-profit organization. Again in 2010, for the third year in a row, The Hartford was included in CDP’s “Carbon Disclosure Leadership Index,” which highlights companies that have displayed the most professional approach to corporate governance regarding climate change disclosure practices.