The focus on the availability and affordability of terrorism (re)insurance coverage comes as the US House of Representatives and Senate are currently considering various changes to Terrorism Risk Insurance Program Reauthorization Act (TRIPRA). TRIPRA expires on December 31, 2014 and the future of the federal backstop is the headline issue within the terrorism market this year given that either substantial modification or non-renewal have the potential to impact terrorism coverage in the United States. The full Senate passed their committee’s recommended version 93-4 on July 17, 2014. The House of Representatives has yet to vote on their version. Implications could also be felt outside the United States. How the expiration of TRIPRA would affect the global terrorism market remains unclear but one possible outcome could see increased pressure on other pool structures to dissolve, resulting in fragmentation towards a more open market approach.
Posts Tagged ‘US’
A 6.0-magnitude earthquake was reported by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) about 4 miles northwest of American Canyon, California and five miles north-northwest of Napa, California. The quake occurred at 3:20 a.m. local time (10:20 UTC) near the north shore of San Pablo Bay, with a magnitude of 6.0. The quake depth was 7.0 miles (11.3 km).
Despite the recent spike in terrorist-related activity, evolving capacity and the absence of a major terrorism loss for reinsurers have resulted in a softening terrorism reinsurance market in areas with less perceived risk. Although localized terrorism and political violence activity has impacted certain facultative programs and affected pricing and capacity at the local level, adequate terrorism capacity continues to be available in the reinsurance treaty marketplace for certain countries and territories.
The spillover of violence from Syria to other Middle Eastern countries is a clear risk in 2014 and beyond. The conflict, and the sectarian tensions that underpin it, could destabilize a number of countries that share borders with Syria and be a catalyst for further violence in countries such as Lebanon, Iraq, Turkey and Jordan. Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) has already exploited conditions in Syria to its advantage in Iraq, where the level of violence is at its highest for a number of years. The group has also made significant territorial gains in Iraq recently, advancing its aim of creating a caliphate in parts of Syria and Iraq.
Despite being overshadowed by the transnational Islamist terrorist threat since September 11, 2001, a number of destructive and costly attacks have been carried out by non-Islamic domestic groups and individuals. These include the Irish Republican Army (IRA) in the United Kingdom, Timothy McVeigh of the Oklahoma bombing in the United States and the Tamil Tigers in Sri Lanka. Such acts have resulted in significant property losses for (re)insurers. Indeed, as shown below, seven of the top ten most costly terrorist attacks (in terms of insured property losses) between 1990 and the first quarter of 2014 were carried out by these domestic groups.
Tropical Storm Iselle made landfall at about 2:30 a.m. HST (1230 UTC) today along the Kau Coast on the Big Island, according to the Central Pacific Hurricane Center (CPHC). Maximum sustained winds at landfall were 60 mph, with higher gusts especially at higher elevations. Iselle was moving slowly leading to excessive rainfall accumulations. Resulting flooding has been extensive, together with reports of downed trees and power lines for affected areas. Roads are blocked with debris and downed trees, and power outages have affected at least 33,000. Some roof damage has been reported. There are no reports of deaths or major injuries.
Hurricane Iselle is poised to become the first hurricane in 22 years to make a direct landfall in Hawaii. According to the Central Pacific Hurricane Center (CPHC), Iselle is located 305 miles east-southeast of Hilo, Hawaii and 510 miles east-southeast of Honolulu, Hawaii. It has already started raining in Hilo and conditions are expected to deteriorate through the day, with the onset of tropical storm conditions this afternoon and hurricane conditions tonight. Trailing Iselle is Hurricane Julio. Julio is presently 1,235 miles east of Hilo, Hawaii. Julio is expected to impact the area shortly following Iselle, but with some uncertainty concerning the expected track and impacts.
Despite the undoubted counter-terrorism gains that have been made since September 11, 2001, it is clear that the threat from large Islamist terrorist groups has not been eradicated. Indeed, a number of Islamist terrorist organizations continue to aspire to conduct complex attacks against Western countries and interests around the world. The attacks carried out in Indonesia (2002), Madrid (2004), London (2005) and Mumbai (2008) are a stark reminder of the objectives of such groups.
Terrorist activity over the last 18 months has reflected the changing terrorism landscape. Several important developments have occurred since the beginning of 2013, starting with French military intervention in Mali in January 2013 to prevent the country from becoming a failed state and base for jihadist terrorists.
The threat from terrorism has undergone significant change since the attacks of September 11, 2001. Heightened and more effective counter-terrorism activities in the following years have prevented repeat attacks on the scale of those carried out in New York and Washington D.C. Nevertheless, al-Qaeda and its affiliates, along with individuals inspired by the movement, still pose a significant threat to Western interests around the world as events over the last 18 months have shown.