NAIFA Joins Coalition, Takes Steps to Respond to Sept. 11 Tragedy

October 1, 2001

The National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors (NAIFA) announced further steps it is taking in response to the terrorist attacks on New York City and Washington, D.C.

NAIFA has joined other leading industry organizations, including the Independent Insurance Agents of America (IIAA) and the American Council of Life Insurers (ACLI), in a coalition to provide information to the victims of the New York attacks, as well as local and national news media.

Led by the Insurance Information Institute (III), the coalition has formed a Disaster Insurance Information Office (DIIO). The DIIO will coordinate the effort among the member associations to:

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help identify emerging issues on the scene;

serve news media as an information source on industry activities;

maintain a dialogue with the public of New York City through an active consumer outreach program targeting business, civic and other community organizations; and

work with the New York Superintendent of Insurance and other government officials on public information activities.

The office will be headquartered at the III office, located just three blocks from where the World Trade Center towers once stood. The III established similar information centers in the wake of other U.S. disasters caused by Hurricane Andrew (1992), the Northridge, Calif., earthquake (1994) and the Oklahoma City tornado (1999).

The newly launched website (www.disasterinformation.org) will play a large part in this communications effort.

In addition to participating in this coalition, NAIFA has also been invited by ACLI to be included in a full-page advertisement, to run in several major publications, that emphasizes the life insurance community’s commitment to “the families and loved ones affected by these heinous acts.” The ads will appear in appear this week in the New York Times, New York Daily News, New York Post, Washington Post and Wall Street Journal, among others. The ad also emphasizes the need “to expedite and simplify the claims process.”

NAIFA applauds efforts taken in the last week by the New York Superintendent of Insurance and several major insurers to allow claims to be paid without usual documentation ¾ specifically death certificates, which may not be issued for several more months.

In addition to these responses, NAIFA’s Board of Trustees drafted a “Declaration on the American Tragedy.” Released in the hours after the terrorist attacks, which occurred during NAIFA’s annual Convention and Career Conference in Salt Lake City, Utah, the statement called September 11 “one of the most momentous days in American history,” and asked the more than 2,500 members attending the convention to return to their homes “with an even greater determination to serve your communities with your unique skills in offering advice that will help our nation heal.” The declaration is available in its entirety at the NAIFA website at www.naifa.org.

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