Posted November 24, 2003 6:24 a.m. EST
RALEIGH, N.C. — It's a lingering question for government and businesses. Do we need terrorism insurance? The RBC Center plans to spend nearly 100-thousand dollars in taxpayer money this year for terrorism coverage. Cullen Browder reports on a balancing act between protection and price.
Michelle Masella\2; :17-22 #Insurance Agent
#Cullen Browder\2; :32-37 #Raleigh
#Chrissy Pearson\2; :51-57 #NC Dept. of Insurance
#Oklahoma City\2; 1:03-1:08 #April 19, 1995
OUTCUE..."WRAL NEWS" T:1:35
After the immeasurable loss of life and property on 9-11, insurance companies decided NOT to cover terrorist acts. Eventually, the federal government made them offer the coverage. Initial premiums cost a fortune. But, that's slowly changing. ""MICHELLE MASELLA/INSURANCE AGENT...THEY'RE COMING DOWN CONSIDERABLY. THEY'RE A FOURTH OF THE PRICE THEY WERE LAST YEAR."" Michelle Masella of Insurance Professionals recently wrote the policy for the RBC Center. If terrorists strike during a Hurricanes game, the arena would likely be covered for losses. ""CULLEN BROWDER/RALEIGH...RIGHT NOW, THERE'S NO REAL CONSISTENCY ON WHICH FACILITIES HAVE TERRORISM INSURANCE AND WHICH ONES DON'T. THE RBC CENTER, FOR INSTANCE, HAS IT. BUT, RIGHT NEXT DOOR, NC STATE'S CARTER FINLEY STADIUM DOES NOT."" That's because state government declined the coverage. Public buildings from the capitol in Raleigh to the Dean Dome in Chapel Hill AREN'T covered for terrorism. ""CHRISSY PEARSON/DEPT. OF INSURANCE...NUMBER ONE, IT WAS COST PROHIBIITIVE. IT WAS EXTREMELY EXPENSIVE FOR THE COVERAGE WE GOT. NUMBER TWO, THERE WERE SOME EXCLUSIONS."" One exclusion...the law states only terrorism committed by a foreign person or group is covered. An American act of terrorism like the Oklahoma City bombing would NOT qualify. Premiums also fluctuate wildly depending on what's considered a potential target. Raleigh bought terrorism insurance for the BTI Center and all other city buildings for 13 thousand dollars. Covering all the state's stadiums and historic buildings would come at a far greater price. ""MASELLA...I THINK UNTIL WE GET A HANDLE ON WHAT'S GOING ON WITH TERRORISM THAT YOU'RE GOING TO SEE INSURANCE DO THIS."" Two years removed from 9-11, that's still no easy task. Cullen Browder, WRAL News.
The Department of Insurance points out that state buildings and stadiums HAVE insurance...just not terrorism coverage.