Insurance Law

Will the Boston Marathon bombings qualify as terrorism for insurance purposes?

President Barack Obama called the Boston Marathon bombings on Monday that killed three people and injured over 170 others “an act of terror.”

But unless and until the secretary of the treasury, in conjunction with the secretary of state and the U.S. attorney general, certify that they agree, coverage won’t be triggered under the post-9/11 federal reinsurance program, reports the Wall Street Journal Law Blog (sub. req.).

Meanwhile, despite the personal injury toll caused by the bombings, the federal Terrorism Risk Insurance Program may not be applicable anyway, because it is unlikely that property and casualty losses exceed a $5 million threshold, an expert told the newspaper.

Under the federal law that authorizes the reinsurance program, attacks that don’t cause $5 million in property damage aren’t classified as terrorism, period, explained Robert Hartwig. He serves as president of the Insurance Information Institute, an industry trade group.

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