Be Careful What You Wish For On Tort Reform

We wouldn’t blame insurers for being hard put to suppress a grin when they heard about all the tort reforms loaded onto the federal terrorism reinsurance bill by the House of Representatives. After all, many of the provisions for controlling liability costs have been at the top of the industry’s wish list for years.

This all might be a moot point by the time you read this editorial, because Congress is expected to act at any time on its terrorism reinsurance initiative. However, when this editorial went to press, Congress was still debating the issue, and given the proclivity of our D.C. lawmakers to wait until the 11th hour or beyond to do what they must, we fear that the unnecessary inclusion of tort reforms might yet sink the entire bill. That would leave risk managers at the mercy of insurers, who will have no choice but to exclude many terrorism exposures.

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