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Coverage mess doesn't mar Silverstein, Willis relations

Coverage mess doesn't mar Silverstein, Willis relations

If World Trade Center developer Larry A. Silverstein was ever upset with Willis Group Holdings Ltd. over the coverage fiasco that followed the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attack, he appears to have gotten over it.

Mr. Silverstein last week announced that Willis has placed the liability, workers compensation and other coverage he needs to build three planned office towers at the former World Trade Center site. The site's owner, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, required the insurance placements before turning over the property for development, which is expected to begin this year.

Willis went to more than 60 insurers in the United States, London and Bermuda for the programs, according to the broker and Silverstein Properties. American International Group Inc. is providing primary workers comp, general liability and environmental liability coverage. ACE USA is leading an excess liability program that also includes units of Aspen Insurance Holdings Ltd., Allied World Assurance Co. Holdings Ltd. and XL Capital Ltd., all of Bermuda; and AIG's Lexington Insurance Co. unit. A Beazley syndicate at Lloyd's of London is providing other specialized coverage, according to Willis and Silverstein.

It wasn't that long ago that Mr. Silverstein was locked in a dispute with two dozen property insurers over the terms of the coverage Willis had placed for the WTC towers destroyed on Sept. 11. Few of the insurers had actually issued policies at the time of the attack, and terms governing the other placements were found to vary, resulting in a smaller recovery than Mr. Silverstein sought.

Observers at the time speculated that Mr. Silverstein might actually sue Willis after the coverage battle ended.

But that was then, and this is now.