Ten Years After 9/11: Property Insurance Lessons Learned
August 1, 2011
“September 11, 2001, was a day of unprecedented shock and suffering in the history of the United States.” 1 On that day, terrorists hijacked and flew two commercial aircraft into the twin towers of the World Trade Center (WTC), destroying both of them, damaging or destroying a number of other surrounding buildings, and killing nearly 3,000 people. 2 Terrorists flew another hijacked commercial airliner into the Pentagon, and another hijacked airliner crashed into a field in rural Pennsylvania. 3 The September 11 terrorist attack resulted in insured losses of nearly $40 billion. 4 At the time, it was the most expensive loss in insurance industry history, only later to be eclipsed by Hurricane Katrina. 5 Although aviation, workers’ compensation, life, and liability insurers all paid significant losses, nearly two-thirds of the 9/11 insurance losses were paid by property insurers. 6
1. Nat’l Comm’n on Terrorist Attacks upon the United States, The 9/11 Commission Report, at xv (2004) [hereinafter 9/11 Commission Report] .
2. See generally id . §§ 9.2–9.4, at 285–323. In addition to the WTC towers, three other buildings fully collapsed (WTC 3, WTC 7, and the Greek Orthodox Church at 155 Cedar Street). Patricia Grossi, Property Damage and Insured Losses from the 2001 World Trade Center Attacks , 15(2) Peace Econ., Peace Sci. & Pub. Pol’y 6 (2009), available at www.bepress.com/peps/vol15/iss2/. Three other buildings partially collapsed (WTC 4, WTC 5, and WTC 6), and eleven other buildings sustained major damage. Id .
3. See generally 9/11 Commission Report , supra note 1, § 1.2, at 24–30.
4. E.g ., 9/11 and Insurance: The Eight Year Anniversary , Ins. J . (Sept. 11, 2009), www.insurancejournal.com/news/national/2009/09/11/103694.htm (last visited Feb. 14, 2011); Ins. Info. Inst., 9/11 and Insurance: The Eight Year Anniversary—Insurers Paid Out Nearly $40 Billion (Sept. 10, 2009), www.iii.org/Press_Releases/9–11-and-Insurance-the-Eight-Year-Anniversary.html (last visited Feb. 14, 2011).
5. E.g ., 9/11 and Insurance: The Eight Year Anniversary , supra note 4.
6. E.g ., id .
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