White House Notes Insurance Executives Did Not Seek Public Funds

September 25, 2001

The White House notes that insurance executives did not request at a meeting with President George Bush last Friday that public funds be used to pay for claims resulting from future terrorist attacks, according to spokesman Ari Fleischer.

According to a report from AFX, following the Sept. 21 meeting with several top insurance executives, AIG chief executive officer Hank Greenberg said the insurance industry was searching for new legislation to set up a government-sponsored insurance fund for claims as they relate to terrorist attacks.

Greenberg said there is no question that with future strikes the insurance industry needs to have a government facility very much like the British have set up. Greenberg noted the British have what is known as a “pool re,” whereby the insurance industry picks up the first loss of a certain amount and the rest is reinsured into the reinsurance facility. He added that Bush realizes the need and would work with the industry to make it happen.

According to the report, Fleischer said the White House is continuing to look over possible changes in legislation but it is premature to say the administration supports such a program.

Fleischer added that the White House is taking a look to see if there are any other appropriate actions that can be taken on the insurance front, but as of now there is nothing to point to.

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