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Both the number of attacks and lives lost in terrorist attacks fell in 2018 although the threat of continued violence remains acute, according to a report Wednesday from Marsh LLC.
The threat is further underscored by the upcoming Dec. 31, 2020, expiration of The Terrorism Risk Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2015, the federal government financial backstop for terrorism property coverage.
The number of attacks fell to 15,819 in 2018 from 22,934 in 2017 and 25,785 in 2016, according to the report, as lives lost fell to 13,570 from 18,466 in 2017 after peaking at 45,081 in 2014, according to report data.
Despite the trends, Marsh says “the evolving and ever-present nature of this risk requires people and organizations to be continuously on guard.”
Shifting terrorism methodologies have caused a corresponding movement from large-scale property damage resulting from a terrorist attack to less physical damage but potential disruptions in business activities, such as hospitality and retail, the report said.
This has led insurers to develop stand-alone coverages beyond property such as active assailant coverage, also known as active shooter, malicious attack, or deadly weapons coverage; and non-damage business interruption coverage, which does not require a physical damage coverage trigger, Marsh said.
These stand-alone coverages also offer the advantage of not requiring government certification of a terrorist act in order to trigger, as does TRIPRA-backed property coverage, Marsh noted.
U.S.-based organizations are the leading buyers of terrorism coverage led by education institutions, media organizations, financial institutions and real estate companies as the most frequent buyers, while transportation and hospitality and gaming companies spent the most on terrorism as a percentage of their total premium spend, at 8% and 7%, respectively, Marsh said.
In 2018, the cost of terrorism insurance as a percentage of overall property premiums was highest for companies with total insured values of $1 billion or more, Marsh added.
Terrorism insurance take-up rates are highest in major metropolitan areas led by New York City, where 80% of companies purchased terrorism insurance, Marsh said.
The number of Marsh-managed captives actively underwriting one or more insurance programs that access TRIPRA increased 10% to 182 captives in 2018, the report said.
Pool Reinsurance Co. Ltd., Britain’s terrorism risk reinsurer, has put £10 million ($13.15 million) into an information-sharing platform in a joint project with the UK National Counter-Terrorism Police HQ and the Home Office’s Joint Security & Resilience Centre, Pool said in a statement Wednesday.