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Insured losses expected to be limited


Insured property losses from the series of terrorist attacks in Paris are not expected to be large and likely will be borne by the government-backed pool, Paris-based Gestion de l'Assurance et de la Reassurance des Risques Attentats et Actes de Terrorisme.

There likely will be contingency losses stemming from sporting matches, concerts and others events cancelled in the wake of the attacks, London market sources said, but the size of the losses was not yet known.

There also likely will be some business interruption and personal accident claims, the size of which also was not yet known, sources said.

Compensation for victims of the attacks — whether or not they are French citizens — will be provided by Le Fonds de Garantie des Victimes des Actes de Terrorismes et d'Autres Infractions, according to the French insurer association, Paris-based Federation Francaise des Societes d'Assurances. The terrorism victim guarantee fund was established in 1986.

While they caused tragic loss of life, the Nov. 13 attacks did not cause widespread insured property damage, said Richard Halstead, London-based terrorism line underwriter at Hiscox Ltd., which does not have exposure to any terrorism losses in the Paris attacks.

They do, however, underline the understanding that no country is completely safe from terrorism threats, he said.

In a statement, Pool Reinsurance Co. Ltd., the U.K. government-backed terrorism pool, said it had written to the Paris pool to express sympathy and offer support.

“Two weeks ago, terrorism reinsurance pools from around the world met in London to discuss ways of collaborating and learning from each other's experiences. None of us would have expected to have been faced with such terrible events so soon afterwards,” it said.

“We will continue our efforts to encourage resilience at crowded places in this country” by encouraging underwriters to apply discounted terrorism insurance rates for buyers that comply with a U.K. Home Office protective security improvement program, Pool Re said.

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