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Frequent Individual Acts of Terror Demand New Industry Solutions

James Dover - Senior Vice President, War & Terrorism

Individual active shooter incidents, including acts of terror, have soared in frequency in the United States over recent years challenging businesses and institutions to face unprecedented exposure to an emerging risk. In addition to adequate insurance coverage, timely and efficient response can be a paramount mitigating factor, enabling the targeted entity to withstand attack repercussions and facilitate operational recovery. An insured’s access to crisis management services and resources can be critical.

An active shooter – or lone wolf attack - is defined as an individual(s) engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a confined or populated area. Nearly 70% of active shooter attacks are five minutes or less in duration and many are over before law enforcement or first responders arrive on the scene. While an attack can occur in minutes, the business implications can be long term. The FBI tracks shooter occurrences when four or more people are wounded or killed, including the shooter. FBI statistics released in June 2016 reported 20 active shooter events per year for both 2014 and 2015, a staggering increase from 2000 when the FBI listed only one such attack. These incidents occurred in 26 States, involved over 250 casualties and identified that nearly 7 out of 10 active shooting incidents occur in schools, businesses, healthcare or religious facilities.

The impact of random individual acts of terror has prompted insurance industry action. Stand-alone terrorism policies may cover the commercial insured for losses related to property damage, business interruption and third party liability resulting from terrorist acts. Yet, individual active shooter attacks unveil multi-faceted risk consequences. The increasing number and frequency of such events reinforce the necessity for specific insurance coverage and availability of professional expertise for timely response under the glare of an unfolding scenario. In the immediate and even longer term, post-event crisis management services can lessen the lingering severity of the incident to enable business recovery.

Ironshore’s terrorism policy now offers insureds 24/7 access to crisis response specialists and provides third party reimbursement for professional crisis management firm fees and expenses following an Active Shooter or Terrorism incident at an insured location. Crisis management expertise can be engaged for on-site event guidance and management of national media attention. Post-event support may require psychological counseling, medical services, as well as informational internal and external communications. In addition, Ironshore has developed an Active Shooter endorsement which broadens the in force stand-alone terrorism policy, specifically offering another level of protection for property damage, business interruption and liability as a result of an Active Shooter incident.

Today’s senseless individual acts of terror erupting on the national stage place besieged businesses in a perilous position demanding timely, responsible action. Confronting the inherent, myriad implications of a terror event, the insured should not have to wonder, “Am I covered?” Value-added insurance solutions recognize the potential ramifications of unforeseen attacks. Professional crisis management experts can offer reliable resources for responding to an unfolding event, as well as help ease the transitional aftermath until the insured attains operational recovery.

The information contained herein is for general informational purposes only and does not constitute an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy any product or service. Any description set forth herein does not include all policy terms, conditions and exclusions. Bound insurance policies, rather than summaries thereof, govern. Not all insurance coverages or products are available in all states and policy terms may vary based on individual state requirements. Some policies may be placed with a surplus lines insurer. Surplus lines insurers generally do not participate in state guaranty funds and coverage may only be obtained through duly licensed surplus lines brokers.

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