AAI Encouraged by President’s Stance on Terrorism Legislation

October 2, 2002

The Alliance of American Insurers reports it was encouraged by President George W. Bush’s strong stance on the need for federal terrorism insurance legislation earlier this week.

“President Bush painted a very clear picture of the impact that a lack of terrorism insurance is having on our economy,” Alliance President Rodger Lawson said “As he said today (Oct. 1), jobs are at stake, new developments are on hold and businesses are at risk. Without terrorism insurance, the economy is in jeopardy.”

Lawson noted that the real estate industry alone estimates that more than $15.5 billion of projects in 17 states have been stalled or canceled because of the lack of terrorism insurance. The recent announcement by two U.S. rating agencies that they will downgrade several billion dollars worth of bonds backed by U.S. commercial real estate loans because of a lack of terrorism insurance legislation will almost certainly take a further toll on our struggling economy, he said.

“It is high time for the Senate and House to come together and take action to eliminate this drag on the economy. Hopefully the President’s deadline will help legislators focus on this vital issue.

The President gave both the House and Senate three days to come together on a compromise.

“Insurance is the glue that holds the American economy together. But terrorism is an uninsurable act—one that only the government can ultimately be responsible for as the insurer of last resort,” said Lawson. “Members of Congress must put aside partisan squabbling and political posturing for the good of our nation. Only with a terrorism backstop bill in place can the U.S. economy move forward.”

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