American Insurance Association Lays Out National Agenda to Strengthen Communities

American Insurance Association President Marc Racicot is scheduled to outline for the press his organization’s National Catastrophe Public Policy Agenda, which is designed to promote economic security and stability in the face of widespread damage following major natural disasters. Racicot, formerly a Montana governor, also will address several questions at the heart of ongoing debates over the future of private and public insurance mechanisms, such as so-called “Cat Funds.”

The unprecedented series of costly natural disasters over the past few years highlights the critical role of the insurance industry in the U.S. property protection system, according to AIA. The 2005 Gulf Coast hurricanes alone caused a historic $60 billion in privately insured losses. Even as private sector insurer claims payments and additional government program dollars fuel Gulf Coast recovery, experts warn that we are in a more active storm cycle for the foreseeable future. This means that communities from Texas to Maine are at substantial risk of equally catastrophic loss for years to come.

Several legitimate, but conflicting, public policy goals complicate the national imperatives of both rebuilding what has been destroyed, and securing the trillions of dollars of personal and commercial property that remains exposed to loss. Such challenges require bold, specific solutions.

Racicot will discuss:
*How individuals, the private sector, and government at all levels can work together to successfully manage natural catastrophe risks and reduce deaths, injuries and property damage.
*How to bring stability, predictability and sustainability to state property insurance marketplaces – while minimizing both cross-subsidies among consumers and government debt.

The press conference will be held Aug. 22, 2006, at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.