The intent of this paper is to provide an overview of the principal provisions of the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act of 2002 (the ‘Act’),1 which became law in the USA on 26th November, 2002, and the practical effects which the Act has had on the state of terrorism insurance coverage as it had evolved between 11th September, 2001 and the passage of the Act. The Act voids some of the exclusions which had made their way into insurance policies (particularly post‐9/11) relating to losses from certain ‘acts of terrorism’ (as defined by the Act) and requires insurers meeting certain criteria to ‘make available’ terrorism insurance coverage to their insureds. The Act also establishes a temporary federal reinsurance programme which provides a system of shared public and private compensation for insured losses resulting from certain certified acts of terrorism. From the standpoint of the average insured, however, the practical impact of the Act has been far less dramatic than may appear on the face of it. As The Department of the Treasury explained in its Final Rule,2 one of the main purposes of the Act was to address market disruptions that resulted in the aftermath of the September 11th terrorist attacks on the USA and to ensure the availability and affordability of property and casualty insurance for certain risks associated with acts of terrorism. In addition, the Act was designed to provide a transitional period for the private insurance markets to stabilise, thereby allowing insurance companies to resume pricing terrorism insurance coverage. The Act also sought to build capacity in the insurance industry to absorb any future losses, while preserving insurance regulation and consumer protections in the individual states.
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