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"Terrorism Insurance" a Hot Debate as Boston Hotels Still Struggle

May 3, 2013 at 3:02 PM | by | ()

The hotels located on or near Boylston Street are still trying to get their feet back under them after the tragedy in Boston, reeling from the lack of business associated with the incident's aftermath. Hotels are looking to their insurance companies to cover their losses, but, interestingly enough, the payout depends upon whether or not the government officially declares the marathon bombings an "act of terror."

Quick background: After September 11th kicked them in the face, insurance companies decided to exclude "acts of terror" from inclusion in policies. They made it an optional add-on that businesses had to purchase separately to have damage covered that resulted from officially declared acts of terrorism, meaning the government's categorization of the incident will determine who pays for what. According to ABC News, President Obama called the bombings an "act of terror," but the treasury secretary, attorney general, and secretary of state have yet to speak on the designation, and have set no time frame in which to do so.

"If there is no terror finding, damages would be covered in general under regular property-and-casualty policies," Robert Hartwig, president of the trade group Insurance Information Institute, told ABC News. If it's declared an "act of terror," however, only those who purchased the additional terrorism clause would have their losses covered by insurance.

Good Lord. Can you imagine the politics churning behind this upcoming decision? Insurance lobbyists pulling for the terrorism designation while corporate owners try to prevent an announcement altogether? Yikes.

We know one hotel is safe either way. The Lenox Hotel has confirmed that it has "specialized terrorism coverage." No other hotel in the area has said yet whether or not they purchased the policy. We'll keep an eye on this story as it progresses.

[Photo: Lenox Boston]

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