Congress Rips Off Consumers Over Terror Insurance

While most corporate corruption quietly snuck away in the chaos
of the War on Terrorism, the newest scandal is directly related to
the terrorist attacks – and worse, the U.S. government.

What started as a government loan to insurances companies in the
event of a catastrophic terrorist attack, explains Lucy Komisar of
Pacific News Service, has become a federal handout gift-wrapped by
Democrats and Republicans with close ties to the industry. The
Terrorism Risk Insurance Act will pay out insurance company claims
for losses up to $100 million, triggered once the industry sustains
only $5 million in terror losses. Seems legitimate? Not considering
the original policy proposed by the House could not be triggered
until the industry claimed $1 billion in losses. And worse, it’s
taxpayers that must pick up most of the cost.

Supporters for the bill claim that, after September 11th,
companies can’t get terrorism insurance as easily, causing the
construction and real estate markets to dry up. But, according to
Robert Hunter of the Consumer Federation of America, the opposite
is true: only the high-end real estate sector is having trouble
getting terror insurance, and most every other business in America
is covered. The insurance industry, Hunter adds, is doing just fine
financially.

While insurers took a significant blow directly after 9/11,
profits shot up by over 65% halfway through 2002.While insurance
companies are getting breaks from the government, individuals
unemployed or injured by the attacks are getting very little aid to
help them carry on. And as usual, not much of the press is talking
about this imbalance. The insurance companies are pleased, laments
Komisar. Taxpayers, kept in the dark by media disinterests, should
not be.

–Abbie Jarman
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