Government, Industry Agreement Proposed

Insurance industry asks for assistance from the government to cover claims.

Following Sept. 11, representatives from the insurance industry asked the U.S. government for assistance in covering claims from future terrorist attacks. In late November, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill that would provide loans from the government to insurers that aren't able to obtain re-insurance coverage, and allow for surcharges on commercial policies if losses topped $20 billion, reports Mealey's Litigation Report. However, no similar legislation had made it through the Senate by year-end. As a result, in early January a majority of state insurance regulators indicated that they would allow insurers to exclude terrorism coverage from some commercial policies, says Robert Hartwig, vice president with the Insurance Information Institute, New York. Their actions were prompted by the fact that some re-insurers said they would not cover future terrorist attacks. What can manufacturing executives do? "The best thing to do to make sure you can get affordable, full coverage is to call your senator," says Kimberly Pinter, director of corporate finance and tax with the National Association of Manufacturers in Washington, D.C. The goal is to develop a co-insurance arrangement between the government and the insurance industry that would guarantee affordable, fair coverage for corporations. The arrangement probably would be in place for several years, as the federal government increases national security measures, and the insurance industry gains some knowledge in pricing for the risk of terrorism.

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