Neb. to Disapprove Terrorism, Nuclear Exclusions in Personal Lines

February 27, 2002

The Nebraska Insurance Department announced it will disapprove terrorism exclusions in personal lines insurance, including exclusions for nuclear and bio-terrorism risks.

National Association of Independent Insurers (NAII) Counsel Ann Weber took issue with the decision, saying it could cause problems for Nebraska insurers due to a lack of reinsurance.

“Without a federal backstop, this action by the commissioner could adversely impact the ability of some insurance companies to offer coverage.” Weber said. “Blanket disapproval of all exclusions may jeopardize an individual insurer’s financial condition.”

In a notice of his intention to disapprove personal lines terrorism exclusions, state Insurance Commissioner L. Tim Wagner said, “We believe that it is only a relatively remote possibility that personal lines losses related to terrorism will have an insurer-endangering impact. There is a considerable spread of risk inherent in personal lines, especially in a state like Nebraska.”

Wagner also said, “We are skeptical that there is much coverage under existing contracts for so-called nuclear and bio-terrorism. We believe that it would be bad public policy to have significant insurer-to-insurer differences in the coverage for the remote chance that a personal lines policyholder in Nebraska may offer otherwise covered losses arising out of a terrorist act.”

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners last month rejected a request by NAII that insurers be allowed to include terrorism exclusions in auto and homeowners insurance policies. NAIC previously approved such exclusions in commercial insurance policies.

Topics Carriers Catastrophe Natural Disasters Nebraska

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