S&P Affirms AA Rating for HCC

May 12, 2004

Houston-based HCC Insurance Holdings Inc. announced that Standard & Poor’s have affirmed their AA (Very Strong) counterpart credit and financial strength ratings for the HCC Insurance Holdings Inc. group of insurance companies:

* Houston Casualty
* US Specialty Insurance Company
* Avemco Insurance Company
* HCC Specialty Insurance Company
* HCC Europe
* HCC Life Insurance Company

Recently acquired American Contractors Indemnity Company will be added to the group rating shortly.

Stephen Way, chairman and CEO, said, “We have been able to keep this very strong rating and still achieve better than 14 percent average return on equity over the past ten years.”

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