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In Reply to: INSURERS: WTC ATTACK NOT ACT OF WAR posted by tonyb on September 17, 2001 at 03:20:45:
CHRISTIE PABARUE INSURANCE ATTORNEY: INSURERS'
WTC 'WAR RISK' DECISIONS MAY AFFECT FUTURE CLAIMS
PHILADELPHIA--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Oct. 1, 2001--Christie,
Pabarue, Mortensen and Young Attorney Randy Maniloff has
been practicing insurance law for 10 years and he's never
seen anything like it.
``Insurance companies are being called upon to address
devastating losses associated with the World Trade Center
attacks and face tremendous financial exposure,'' notes
Maniloff. ``While there is general agreement that insurance
companies will not invoke the `war risk' exclusion as a basis
to deny coverage to those affected by these attacks, that may
not be the case in the future.
``The consensus has emerged that the Sept. 11 attacks are
not excluded because they were orchestrated by a terrorist
network, not a state sponsored military force or government,''
Maniloff elaborates. Despite the fact that numerous
insurance companies have issued statements of having no
intentions of denying present claims based on this
exclusion, the issue is by no means cut and dry. ``If their only
concern had been sanctity of their policy language, the
insurance industry would not have been stepping entirely out
of bounds by pausing to investigate the potential applicability
of the `war risk' clause to the Sept. 11 attacks,'' says Maniloff.
While the decision of the insurance companies not to apply
war risk exclusions to the World Trade Center or Pentagon
attacks is laudable, it must be done in such a way that does
not amount to a waiver of such exclusions in the event of
future hostilities and claims, notes Maniloff. ``The next time
around, insurers will likely be more willing to apply the war
risk exclusion. The facts will be different, and insurers will be
faced with new claims on top of their tremendous World
Trade Center exposure,'' he points out.
Insurance companies, says Maniloff, must act now to avoid
becoming a victim of their own best intentions.
``Policyholders and others facing disclaimers for future
claims regarding these matters will be searching for ways to
sidestep the war risk exclusion and applicable case law,'
Maniloff adds. ''One way to do that may be for policyholders to
switch gears and argue that Sept. 11 claims were in fact
precluded by the war risk exclusion, which has now been
`waived' by the carriers decision to pay such claims.``
Maniloff's views are discussed in detail in an article titled,
``The War Risk Exclusion - Looking Beyond the Events of
September 11th,'' contained in the September 25th issue of
Mealey's Litigation Report: Insurance. For more information,
contact Randy J. Maniloff at (215) 587-1632 or by E-mail at
RJManiloff@CPMY.com. Website: http://www.CPMY.com
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