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U.S. firms buying terrorism risk cover: Study


Most U.S. companies purchased terrorism risk insurance last year despite increasing costs for the coverage, according to a new report.

A total of 59% of companies purchased or renewed their property terrorism insurance coverage in 2006, up from 58% in 2005 and 27% in 2003, according to a report by New York-based Marsh Inc.

Companies with total insured values of $1 billion or more had the highest take-up rate for terrorism insurance at 65%, followed by 63% for companies with total insured values between $500 million and $1 billion. Sixty percent of businesses with total insured values between $100 million and $500 million purchased terrorism insurance, while 49% of companies with values under $100 million bought the coverage, according to the report.

Financial institutions were the biggest purchasers of terrorism insurance, with take-up rates of 81%, followed by real estate firms, utilities and educational institutions at 77%. In contrast, less than 45% of general manufacturing and construction companies bought terrorism coverage, according to the report.

The New York metropolitan area had the highest take-up rate for terrorism insurance at 77%, followed by Washington at 75% and Dallas at 71%.

Take-up rates for terrorism insurance coverage were slightly higher last year compared with 2005 despite rising costs for the coverage. The median rate was $47 per million of total insured values in 2006, up from $43 per million in 2005, due to the hardening of the property insurance market, according to the report.

Small companies are facing the biggest cost increases, as the median rate for these companies increased to $89 per million last year, up from $50 per million the previous year. In contrast, the median rate for the largest companies rose slightly to $40 per million.