Policyholders Launch Coalition to Seek Passage of Terrorism Insurance Plan

February 14, 2002

A number of leading trade associations and individual companies have joined together to speak for business insurance policyholders as part of a continuing effort to win passage of a terrorism insurance plan on Capitol Hill.

Among the members’ concerns are that without Congress stepping in, terrorism-related coverage will be an option only at high rates, and maybe not available at all.

The groups, representing significant policyholders throughout the transportation, real estate, manufacturing, construction, entertainment and retail sectors, have formed the Coalition to Insure Against Terrorism (CIAT).

According to Martin DePoy, vice president of government relations at the National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts and a spokesperson for the new coalition, gaps in insurance coverage against acts of terrorism weaken the country’s economy, and pose a very real threat to the homeland security.

DePoy commented that the economic impact of further terrorist attacks on the businesses represented by coalition members is immeasurable, adding that minus insurance, it could be catastrophic.

Faced with what CIA Director George Tenet recently described as a convergence of threats, the nation’s policyholders are looking to Congress to quickly adopt a federal insurance security net to ensure that comprehensive terror-related coverage is both available and affordable. Depoy noted that each day brings renewed warnings from U.S. officials of possible attacks on private facilities, famous landmarks and infrastructure such as airports. He added that it is properties like these that will find it especially difficult, if not impossible, to obtain adequate terrorism insurance coverage.

CIAT is planning to ask Members of Congress to work together in the interests of all policyholders and formulate a plan that will give insurers the means to provide comprehensive coverage. DePoy noted that a dysfunctional insurance system could both jeopardize the country’s economic recovery and weaken homeland security.

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