New England Council, PIA Laud Passage of Terrorism Insurance Bill

June 19, 2002

Both the New England Council and the National Association of Professional Insurance Agents expressed strong approval of the U.S. Senate’s action in passing legislation to provide back-up insurance for acts of terrorism.

The NEC sated that the bill would “protect the both the insurance industry and the banking, real estate, energy, construction and transportation industries from the significant losses they could sustain should another terrorist attack occur in the future.”

“The Council has been a strong voice in favor of this legislation. (See IJ Website June 14 ) We are very pleased that the Senate has taken favorable action. The financial services industry is a leading sector in the New England economy. There has been much concern about the negative impacts on the economy if this legislation did not move forward,” stated James T. Brett, President and CEO in the NEC’s bulletin.

He added that other sectors, notably construction and real estate, were being affected “because properties and businesses are unable to find sufficient terrorism insurance, at any price.” This could result in slower recovery and slower economic growth, Brett indicated.

The PIA, a member of the “Coalition to Insure Against Terrorism,” has long lobbied for the bill, and urged Senators to “vote for cloture and passage of S. 2600, the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act of 2002.”

The organization’s main concern is to get the bill passed as quickly as possible in order to restore confidence in the economy. The lack of availability of coverage for risks related to terrorism is contributing to the economic slowdown, as lenders, builders, property owners and businesses remain reluctant to commit to new projects without insurance protection.

“Time is of the essence,” the coalition said. “Every day that passes without action by the Senate means that more businesses and property owners could be exposed to catastrophic loss in the event of another terrorist attack.”

Both organizations urged the Senate and House conferees, who will try to work out the differences between their respective bills, to act as quickly as possible.

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