Oct. 2, 2001
Contact: Lucas Hamilton
Morrison heads national group on legal insurance issues related to Sept. 11 terrorist attack
John Morrison has been appointed chairman of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners' Legal Task Force to address legal issues that affect insurance coverage of damages caused by the terrorist attack.
Losses in the insurance industry are estimated near $30 billion, far exceeding all previous national disasters. Loss claims can be expected for life insurance, property loss, business interruption, event cancellation, workers' compensation, health and auto insurance and aviation.
"Most insurance companies have stepped up to the plate and have already begun to pay, but unfortunately, some companies have not been as forthcoming," Morrison said. "Regulators will speak with a unified voice to ensure that insurance issues are resolved promptly, fairly and equitably."
The task force will include insurance commissioners and attorneys from New York, Virginia and Pennsylvania, sites of the Sept. 11 disaster.
Morrison said the group will consider a variety of legal issues including whether insurance companies can deny coverage based on act-of-war and other exclusions, whether the attacks constitute a single or multiple incidents for the purpose of determining coverage amounts and how to handle proof of loss with regard to claims when evidence of the property lost was destroyed along with the property.
The group also will work with federal investigative authorities to assist in the search for information about terrorists that may exist in insurance companies' files.
"Insurance commissioners across the country are committed to doing our part to bring terrorists to justice," Morrison said. "We will begin working on all of these issues immediately."
The National Association of Insurance Commissioners is convening a national insurance industry summit Oct. 22-24 in Washington, D.C., to assess the impact of the terrorist attacks on insurance companies and policyholders.
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