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Brussels terrorism-related property losses covered by state-run pool

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Damage from a series of explosions Tuesday in and around transportation hubs in Brussels, which apparently were set off by terrorists and killed dozens of people, would have insurance coverage from an 8-year-old terrorism insurance pool.

Two explosions at Brussels' Zaventem airport and one at the Maelbeek subway station close to European Union buildings reportedly killed at least 30 people and injured at least 230.

This Islamic State reportedly claimed responsibility for the attacks. Brussels had been on high alert since the Monday capture of one of the suspected perpetrators of the November terrorist attacks in Paris.

All public transport in Brussels was shut down, all flights to and from Brussels Airport were canceled or rerouted, and the Eurostar train between Brussels and London was suspended.

Brussels and France also reportedly closed their common border.

Insured losses from terrorist attacks in Belgium are covered by the Brussels-based Terrorism Reinsurance and Insurance Pool, which began operations on May 1, 2008.

The pool, which is funded by insurers and backed by the Belgian state, pays for terrorism losses up to just over €1 billion ($1.12 billion) per year.

Participation in the pool is not compulsory, but about 95% of insurers operating in Belgium contribute to it, according to the Organization for Economic Coordination and Development.

Participating insurers retain about €300 million ($337.3 million), and the pool is covered by a stop-loss reinsurance policy underwritten in the London, Continental European and Bermudian markets.

The worst insured property losses from terrorism occurred on Sept. 11, 2001, when hijacked airliners crashed into the World Trade Center in New York, the Pentagon in Washington and in a field in Pennsylvania. Insured losses totaled more than $25.12 billion in 2014 dollars, according to the New York-based Insurance Information Institute Inc.

The 1993 bombing near London's NatWest tower resulted in $1.21 billion in insured property losses, which the III said is the second-worst property loss on record due to terrorism.