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Yearly takeup rate for terrorism insurance coverage remains steady


The 2013 takeup rate for terrorism coverage was 62% in 2013 among clients of Marsh L.L.C., according to a report released by the broker last week.

That was the same takeup rate as in 2012, according to Marsh's “2014 Terrorism Risk Insurance Report.” Marsh said the takeup rate has remained consistently in the low-60% range since 2009.

But that could change if the federal government's terrorism insurance backstop program, which will expire on Dec. 31 unless Congress reauthorizes it, is not extended, Marsh cautioned in the report.

If the program is not extended and insurers do not have to make the coverage available, lower takeup rates could result as fewer insurers offer the coverage, according to the report.

The report added that increased pricing, particularly for properties in major metropolitan areas, could also follow. The potential negative economic consequences of failure to extend the federal terrorism insurance backstop program should be “an impetus for quick congressional action,” said Marsh.

The report also found that educational organizations purchased property terrorism insurance at a higher rate, 81%, than did those in any other industry segment in 2013. Health care organizations ranked second with a 75% takeup rate, and financial institutions third at 74%. Construction ranked last among the 17 industry segments surveyed at 44%.

Among individual states, Massachusetts had the highest property terrorism insurance takeup rate at 84% in 2013, with Maryland coming in second at 81%. Hawaii had the lowest takeup rate at 36%.

Median rates for companies with total insured value of less than $100 million rose slightly in 2013 to $51 per million from $49 per million of total insured value, while median rates for companies with total insured values of more than $1 billion fell slightly to $18 per million from $19 per million in 2013.

The report found that construction companies paid the most for terrorism insurance in 2013, a median rate of $66 per million total insured value, while health care companies paid the least at a median rate of $14 per million of total insured value.

The report is based on placements made throughout 2013 by almost 2,600 Marsh client companies.