Insurance, War, and Terror

If you are an American citizen, your attention has been riveted by the events from September 11, 2001. You also likely have several concerns that are also shared by a great many fellow Americans such as:

It is understandable to be concerned and confused over the above issues, especially since everyone is being inundated with news and other information. Insurance related to personal lines (any coverage that protects personal property rather than business) is more standardized than commercial insurance, so the coverage concept in policies for cars, homes, and personal liability are similar.

Most policies prohibit coverage for causes of loss considered "uninsurable." Not surprisingly, coverage for war is one cause of loss that is excluded. Typically auto and homeowner policy wording not only excludes war, but any military actions similar to war such as rebellions, large-scale civil disturbances, and revolutions. Further, coverage is excluded regardless whether the government has formally declared a state of war. On the other hand, acts of terrorism are distinct from war and, as we have learned to our sorrow, involve individuals committing acts against other individuals rather than against governments or military personnel. Generally speaking, loss caused by such acts would be covered. However, it is always in your best interest to look at exactly what appears in your policies. It would also be helpful to contact an insurance professional to discuss any of your concerns in enough detail so that you understand your situation and your coverage needs.

COPYRIGHT: Insurance Publishing Plus, Inc., 2001

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