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INSURERS: WTC ATTACK NOT ACT OF WAR


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Posted by tonyb on September 17, 2001 at 03:20:45:

INSURERS: WTC ATTACK NOT ACT OF WAR

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Some leading U.S. and European insurers say that the destruction of the World
Trade Center was not an act of war, and therefore covered under most insurance policies. If other insurers
take the same view, that means insurance companies around the world will have to pay out the $30 billion
or so in claims expected by industry experts from the attack.

``The acts-of-war exclusion does not apply to Tuesday's events,'' insurer Chubb Corp. said earlier this week.
The Warren, New Jersey-based business insurer expects to pay out as much as $200 million for the attack.

Under most property and liability policies, acts of war are excluded, to protect insurers from overwhelming
claims in the event of a war. Some analysts had suggested that insurers might invoke the exclusions to
avoid payment.

Although President Bush has repeatedly called the attack an ''act of war,'' it is generally accepted that the
exclusion only applies in the case of a declared war between two or more sovereign nations.

``I have no doubt that the insurance industry has no other choice at all than to pay, for political reasons as
well,'' said Bruno Porro, a member of the executive committee at the world's second-largest reinsurance
group Swiss Re, in an interview published in the Finanz und Wirtschaft newspaper on Saturday. Swiss Re
has said it expects more than $700 million in claims.

Claims would not likely be disallowed under terrorism exclusions either, Porro said. ``Terror damage has to
be covered because insurance polices, especially in the United States, do not mention this as a rule,'' he
said. To settle such an issue, Porro called for a broad industry-wide agreement on how to resolve claims.

Other U.S. insurers agreed that the attack was not an act of war. ``No life or disability claims for the events of
Sept. 11 will be refused on the basis of a war exclusion,'' Ed Zore, chief executive of life insurer
Northwestern Mutual, said this week. Northwestern is the United States' leading individual life insurer and
has already received a handful of claims from families of policyholders who were on airplanes used in
Tuesday's attacks.

Hartford Financial Services, which sells car, home, business and life insurance, has also said that the act of
war exclusion would not apply.

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