NU Online News Service, Sept. 11, 12:30 p.m. – The airline disasters in New York City, Pittsburgh and Washington have taken an incalculable toll of human lives. The National Association of Independent Insurers reports it has three member companies headquartered in the World Trade Center.

“Obviously the human toll is our first concern,” Joe Annotti, NAII assistant vice president, told the National Underwriter. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to the employees and the families of the member companies that we had in the World Trade Center.”

He continued that the insured loss is “going to exceed the $25 million cat loss limit. It has been declared an official catastrophe. And because of the nature of the terrorist attack I suspect that there will be a rather lengthy police investigation. The whole triage, and sorting through for survivors will take some time. Coupled with the investigation, it will take weeks before insurers can go in and get an accurate picture of the losses.”

Annotti said that the effect of the tragedy on a market that is already hardening “is difficult to say. The hurricane season hasn’t amounted to much, so insurers have not had to pay big losses there, but it is certainly a factor that you have to consider down the line as to how much this is going to affect insurance availability and affordability.”

According to the NAAI, the insurance ramifications of the disaster include:

? Property and liability losses sustained by the insurers and reinsurers of the airlines.

? Property and liability losses sustained by the insurers and reinsurers of the World Trade Center and other surrounding buildings.

? Workers’ compensation coverage for injuries sustained by workers in the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and other surrounding buildings.

? Auto insurance losses for cars damaged by falling debris and those destroyed in underground parking garages.

? Business interruption losses sustained by the insurers of the businesses in the World Trade Center and surrounding buildings.

? Property losses for computers, furniture and other contents sustained by the insurers of the businesses in the World Trade Center and surrounding buildings.

? Contingent business interruption insurance for the general “interruption of commerce” that these acts caused other businesses.

? Potential liability exposure for the insurers of the World Trade Center and surrounding buildings for not promptly evacuating all employees.

The NAII said it is currently working with loss and claims professionals among its member companies and others in the insurance and reinsurance industries to develop an accurate assessment of the insured losses from this tragedy.

(The employees of the National Underwriter Company offer sympathy and condolences to all those who suffered losses in this terrible tragedy.)