NU Online News Service, Sept. 17, 1:15 p.m. – Reinsurers are not saying much about press reports that the associates of terrorists may have shorted reinsurance company stocks during the week before the Sept. 11 attacks on four U.S. passenger jets, the Pentagon and the Manhattan World Trade Center.
An investor shorts a stock by selling the stock in the anticipation that its price will drop.
Lincoln National Corp., Philadelphia, said today it had not experienced any short-selling of which it was aware.
Swiss Reinsurance Company, Zurich, declined to comment on the short-selling reports. It is referring reporters to a statement on its Web site, which notes only that gathering accurate information about the effects of the attacks will take time, but that, based on a rough estimate, the loss to Swiss Re may be in the range of losses from the 1999 European winter storms Lothar and Martin.
In related news, the Pennsylvania department said that, as of Sept. 14, it had received no calls regarding terrorism attack claims.
The Virginia Bureau of Insurance had received three calls. One caller asked about life insurance, and another asked about the use of a war exclusion clause in property-casualty insurance.
The Maryland insurance officials said they had not heard of property-casualty companies receiving any unusual claims or comments as a result of the Sept. 11 attacks.
Meanwhile, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners in Kansas City, Mo., is weighing the idea of holding a summit meeting later in the fall that would be similar to the annual commissioners meeting. Participants could include members of Congress as well as state lawmakers. The NAIC has not yet decided whether the meeting would be open to the public.