The Real Deal New York

Developers worry about Terrorism Insurance Act’s future

Douglas Durst: "We would not be able to build or refinance our buildings without it"
June 20, 2014 02:40PM

In wake of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor primary reelection defeat, some developers and building owners are worried about the future of the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act.

The act is 12-years-old and up for renewal.

“We would not be able to build or refinance our buildings without it,” Douglas Durst, chairman of the Durst Organization, told WNYC.

Recently, Cantor visited the Real Estate Board of New York offices to reach out to Big Apple building owners.

“There’s no question that Eric Cantor was helpful,” REBNY President Steven Spinola told WNYC.

The law, first signed in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, created a government-backed insurance facility for businesses that suffered losses after such an event. The law was extended in 2005 and in 2007. 

If damage from an attack is more than $100 million, the federal government will step in to cover most of the additional damage and liability, under the law. The assistance could be scaled back substantially in the next renewal, experts say. Earlier this week, Republican Congressman Randy Neugebauer from Texas introduced a bill that would raise the threshold for federal assistance from damage from bomb or plane attacks to $500 million.

Rating firm Standard & Poor’s has predicted that insurance costs will rise as the number of insurers that offer terrorism insurance will decrease[WNYC]  — Claire Moses