September 11th and the Evolution of Terrorism Insurance

Sunday, February 24th, 2019 - Uncategorized

There I was in front of the school, letting off my three kids just before heading off to the insurance agency where I worked. Then, just as I was set to drive off, another parent signaled for me to roll down my car window.

“There’s been an attack on the World Trade Center,” she said with feeling. “Terrorists flew a hijacked airplane full of travelers straight through one of the towers!”

We’d all known about terrorism, but this was something completely unfathomable. Little did we all realize, there would be more of the horrendous onslaught very soon to come. The radio announcer let us in one development at a time.

“A second plan just crashed through the second tower!” There was no doubt about it now. The episode was a pre-conceived attack on the US.

The soon to follow violent tragedies on board two other flights sent tremors across the nation. Fear. Anger. Sorrow. Grief. Who could accurately describe the raw emotions?

As I watched the surreal visual recordings on television, a my mouth dropped. The buildings seemed to melt. What were those items dropping from the towers, I wondered. It didn’t take long for the losses of human life to be defined. I shuddered and cried along with those across the entire spectrum of the US. This couldn’t be happening to the most powerful country in the world! Apparently, it could.

Fifteen years hence, the reality and liability of 9/11 still haunts us.

The previous experiences I’ve had dealing with all sorts of property and casualty insurance and the involved claims never would have prepared me for the serious ramifications of the 9/11 lawsuits that go on till this very day. Since that black day, related insurance has evolved. From something that was included into the all-perils commercial catastrophic policies because of the small likelihood of occurrence, terrorism risk insurance is now provided as an added rider to business insurance with government backups. Once viewed as unnecessary by many, today’s reality makes this type of coverage a genuine consideration just as accident insurance is to the auto industry and homeowners and renters is to the house and condo dweller.

Encompassing protection against lawsuits for a company’s lack of preparedness, actual losses and damages and loss of wages incurred from an attack, as well as counseling services for those suffering from the emotional aftermath, terrorism insurance alongside the protective workers comp has become a sad reflection of our present circumstance.

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