It was reported this week that cyber attackers compromised the security of U.S. Department of Energy computer systems over 150 times between 2010 and 2014. The information came from a review of federal records and confirms what many of us have long feared was the case, that the cyber attacks against our energy infrastructure are a reality and could be potentially devastating.
USA Today, with the help of various reporters across the country, obtained access to federal energy records and found that nearly every four days, part of the nation’s power grid is struck by a cyber or physical attack, potentially leaving millions in the dark. The records obtained by USA TODAY through the Freedom of Information Act, confirm the vulnerability of such an attack on our critical energy infrastructure. Read more…
Amid growing concern over TRIA/TRIPRA’s expiration on 12/31/14 and the government’s long-term commitment to a Federal Backstop program, many Worker’s Compensation carriers have are thinking ahead when it comes to renewals and securing new business.
When Congress extended TRIA in 2007, it also revised the definition of “acts of terrorism” to include domestic terrorism. Domestic Terrorism has three components:
- All acts of terrorism outside the scope of the Act or the Foreign Terrorism Premium with an aggregate workers compensation losses in excess of $50 million.
- Earthquake: The shaking and vibration at the surface of the earth resulting from underground movement along a fault plane or from volcanic activity where aggregate workers compensation losses from the single event are in excess of $50 million.
- Catastrophic Industrial Accident: Any single event resulting in aggregate workers compensation losses in excess of $50 million.
Renewal efforts for TRIA (the federal terrorism insurance backstop) moved forward last month with a legislative proposal in the Senate that would extend the law for another seven years. The bill, introduced by Senator Charles Schumer, D-NY, and co-sponsored by a bipartisan group of members in the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee, would reauthorize the federal backstop program for an additional seven years. TRIA is currently set to expire on Dec. 31, 2014, which could leave buyers and carriers facing huge spikes in stand-alone and embedded terrorism insurance rates if the U.S. Government halts coverage.
The new measure, brought to the Senate floor just days before the one-year anniversary of the Boston Marathon Bombings includes two major changes to the program that would increase deductibles and co-pays for insurers. Still, some insurer groups are hesitant about the bill’s Read more…
With the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act (TRIA) set to expire on December 31, 2014, buyers and carriers of terrorism insurance must be on the lookout for marketplace changes and disruption if Congress opts to let the federal backstop program expire. As speculation continues about the Act’s renewal, the terrorism marketplace is starting to shift from one that has been relatively steady with abundant capacity to a much more aggressive and opportunistic arena. Experts say that the Act’s uncertainty means stand-alone rates could also jump by at least ten percent, while embedded terrorism insurance rates could potentially spike if the U.S. Government halts TRIA coverage.
Austin, Texas, Police Chief Art Acevedo stopped short of calling the crashing of a small plane into a commercial office building in northwest Austin on Feb. 18 a terrorist act, but U.S. Representative Mike McCaul said he wasn’t so sure it couldn’t be considered one.
The Piper Cherokee PA-28 piloted by Joseph Andrew Stack, 53, crashed into a multi-story office building that housed a U.S. Internal Revenue Services office with 190 employees shortly before 10 a.m. on Feb. 18.
While this may just seem a matter of semantics for journalists, but this is a critical question in insurance.