WASHINGTON: The insurance industry has pulled together its public
affairs and lobbying resources in an unprecedented effort to convince
the federal government to help the industry cover possible damage from
future terrorist attacks.
Led by the American Insurance Association, companies, their respective
PR firms, and industry associations have come together to communicate
one message: without government intervention, much of corporate America
will wake up uninsured on 1 January 2002.
The problem stems from the fact that re-insurers - those who insure the
insurance companies - have refused to underwrite policies that cover
terrorist acts as of 1 January.
The insurance companies themselves - which are much more highly
regulated than the re-insurers - are willing to write such policies, but
they cannot do so without someone to help spread the risk.
As a result, insurers are turning to Congress to step in and fill that
role - and quickly, as many commercial policies expire 31 December.
'We've just been trying to educate those members of Congress and the
media who will pay attention,' said Julie Rochman, AIA senior
vice-president of public affairs .
'We're really just trying to provide facts and information and make sure
the coverage is accurate,' she adds.
That term is inappropriate, Rochman said, because all claims from the 11
September terrorist attacks are being honoured.
Hartford Insurance group SV-P and communications officer Ed Morgan said
all his company's PR resources - including its agency of record,
Burson-Marsteller - are devoted to this campaign. Other industry
leaders, including CNA, Allstate, and ACE agree.
'Our primary message is that this industry has finite resources, and
terrorism is something you can't predict, so the re-insurance markets
can't protect it,' said Morgan.