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Public/Private Partnership Key to Availability and Affordability of Terrorism Risk Insurance, Aon Says

Company Responds to U.S. Treasury Department's Request for Comment

CHICAGO, Aug 06, 2010 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ --

Aon Corporation (NYSE: AON), a leading global provider of risk management, insurance and reinsurancebrokerage services and human capital solutions, has responded to the President's Working Group on Financial Markets' request for comment on the long-term availability and affordability of terrorism risk insurance, reiterating the vital importance of a federal backstop or a viable substitute to protect individual companies as well as the global economy in the face of a catastrophic terrorist attack. The President's Working Group is part of the U.S. Department of the Treasury.



As a result of enacting the original Terrorism Risk Insurance Act of 2002 and the most recent Terrorism Risk Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2007, global businesses with U.S. exposures have seen:

  • Increased terrorism insurance capacity,
  • Inclusion of domestic acts of terrorism into the backstop,
  • Continued drop in terrorism coverage pricing and
  • Evolution of a global standalone terrorism market.


This progress notwithstanding, the majority of the commercial insurance market has made it clear that it will revert to its pre-TRIA stance upon TRIPRA's expiration at the end of 2014, and exclude terrorism risks from coverage due to continued limitations on modeling and restrictions on establishing a viable reinsurance market for this risk.

The $500 million of estimated insured Thailand loss flowing from recent political violence events is illustrative of the challenges facing the property terrorism insurance market. This loss alone represents a sizable portion of the premium generated annually by the global standalone terrorism marketplace.

"The loss events in Thailand demonstrate that terrorism remains a global risk with the potential to impact available capacity for U.S. risks, and we hope the U.S. Treasury and all parties interested appreciate the vital role TRIA plays in sustaining affordable terrorism insurance coverage," said Aaron Davis, managing director of Aon Risk Solutions' national property practice. "While outstanding progress has been made in the private sector, individual companies and our economy as a whole will not survive a catastrophic terrorism event without a reliable backstop in place."

Paul Bassett, chief executive officer of Aon Risk Solutions' global crisis management practice, which produces Aon's annual Terrorism Threat Map, noted: "We remain concerned that terrorists will seek to achieve mass casualties as groups continue to become more innovative. The recent political violence events in Thailand alone caused the first major loss to standalone terrorism insurers, and will test the commitment of many markets to this business."

Despite the nearly 70 percent growth since 2006 of standalone terrorism market per-risk capacity for standard commercial all-risk property markets, a gap of nearly $10 billion remains in the amount of per-risk capacity when compared to the all-risk property coverage available. Standalone terrorism coverage remains an important solution for businesses, but does not represent a means for replacing TRIA's $100 billion of annual aggregate capacity.

"The commitment of commercial insurance carriers to terrorism coverage in the U.S. is directly correlated to the existence of TRIA and its mandatory coverage," added Davis. "When large losses occur, we expect markets to shy away, translating to a drop in the available capacity of terrorism coverage as its price skyrockets. If TRIA disappears, $100 billion of terrorism capacity will not emerge from the private markets to replace it."

"Terrorism risk insurance coverage pricing remains higher for domestic versus foreign risks, due to the continued perception that the U.S. remains a target for both single-interest domestic and global terrorist groups," Davis continued. "TRIA's success rests largely on the lack of terrorism-related losses in the U.S. and the continued requirement that carriers offer terrorism risk coverage for most commercial property and casualty exposures in the U.S."

Download Aon's response to the U.S. Treasury by visiting

Access Aon's interactive 2010 Terrorism Threat Map or request hard copies by visiting

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About Aon

Aon Corporation (NYSE: AON) is a leading global provider of risk management services, insurance and reinsurancebrokerage, and human capital consulting. Through its more than 36,000 colleagues worldwide, Aon delivers distinctive client value via innovative and effective risk management and workforce productivity solutions. Aon's industry-leading global resources and technical expertise are delivered locally through more than 500 offices in more than 120 countries. Named the world's best broker by Euromoney magazine's 2008, 2009 and 2010 Insurance Survey, Aon also ranked highest on Business Insurance's listing of the world's largest insurance brokers based on commercial retail, wholesale, reinsurance and personal lines brokerage revenues in 2008 and 2009. A.M. Best deemed Aon the number one insurance broker based on brokerage revenues in 2007, 2008 and 2009, and Aon was voted best insurance intermediary, best reinsurance intermediary and best employee benefits consulting firm in 2007, 2008 and 2009 by the readers of Business Insurance. Visit for more information on Aon and to learn about Aon's global partnership and shirt sponsorship with Manchester United.

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