The insurance industry had a bad day on 9/11. Few would imagine a loss of literally everything (the office, the objects, the building and even the people). Of all possibile outcomes, this was the worst of the worst.

What was actually insured from this attack? Was the World Trace Center itself covered by insurance? If I was a business man and brought a place in the building, would I have had insurance?

In the aftermath, what happened? Did the insurance industry pay it all? Did they go broke?

  • one result of 9/11 was that many insurance companies expanded their list of things not covered by their policies to include terrorist attacks. While this had been common in some countries, it was not yet that way in the US. – jwenting Sep 13 '13 at 5:19
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    Considering there are now high school students who weren't born when the WTC collapsed, this can qualify as history (certainly historic) but not in the usual fashion. Yet. – LateralFractal Sep 13 '13 at 13:45
  • Cleaned up the English. Please try to post with your best English possible, Rodrigo. I don't mind doing some cleanups to reveal the occasional gem, but making major edits like this is a lot of work. – T.E.D. Sep 13 '13 at 18:06
  • @LateralFractal :not everything that happened in the past qualifies as good History here, nor does the passage of more time necessarily make a topic better "History" because it is further in the past. IMO, unless it can be shown that what happened in the insurance business after 9/11 had some significant impact on subsequent economic and financial developments in NYC or the USA, in terms of History this subject probably remains localized trivia. – user2590 Sep 13 '13 at 23:41
  • I am uncomfortable with a soft science defining hard boundaries. Insightful history works better with the widest net and so contemporary historians have sought precisely that. When members are not interested in a particular question about the past, I suggest they can refrain from answering it (this includes myself). As no member is Hari Seldon; deciding which past events and which angles of examination are "in scope" becomes a matter of personal preference and social framing. – LateralFractal Sep 14 '13 at 10:32

The type of insurance would have differed according to the policy purchased. In a lot of cases, businesses would not have been fully covered. The specifics are usually private between each business and the insurer (often a contractual requirement of the insurer to reduce price table exposure to competitors). What coverage did exist has been disputed by insurance companies.

The insurance loss, while large, was not larger than commonly occurring natural disasters. For 9/11 the direct loss for insurers was approximately $32 billion. Hurricane Katrina was $71 billion. Natural disasters alone cost insurers $20 billion each year.

For more details on 9/11's impact on insurance specifically: Ten Years After 9 11 Property Insurance Lessons Learned.PDF

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  • Great answer and great paper :) I didn't find it. I remember that I read something about it in 2001 or 2002 and never see it back. This wasn't very catastrophic and this company survived to it. – Rodrigo Sep 13 '13 at 2:45
  • Note that Congress actually stepped in with legislation to protect the WTC and the airlines (and by extension, their insurers) from liability for 9/11. – T.E.D. Sep 13 '13 at 18:11

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