Insurers Push for Global Terrorism Definition

July 25, 2002

As terrorism coverage continues to be excluded from more and more property and casualty policies, insurance industry leaders are advocating a global definition of terrorism. Tom Player, attorney at the Atlanta law firm Morris, Manning & Martin LLP, presented those thoughts at the 2002 Conference of the Asia-Pacific Risk and Insurance Association (APRIA) in Shanghai.

Player and co-authors Harold Skipper, chairman of the Department of Risk Management at Georgia State University and attorney Janet Lambert of British firm Barlow Lyde & Gilbert, recommend that governments and insurers across the globe adopt this global definition of terrorism:

“An act, including, but not limited to, the use of force or violence, committed by any person or persons acting on behalf of or in connection with any organization creating serious violence against a person or serious damage to property or a serious risk to the health or safety of the public undertaken to influence a government for the purpose of advancing a political, religious or ideological cause. Such act shall be certified as an “Act of Terrorism” by the senior judicial or administrative official designated by the adopting government and shall not be subject to appeal.”

Following the pattern established by the U.K. facility, Pool Re, and a consistent element in each of the bills pending before the U.S. Congress, the authors recommend that any act of terrorism be certified as such by the senior judicial or administrative official designated by the adopting government.

Player contends that such a definition would enable governments and insurers to reimburse businesses more consistently for terrorist acts.

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