Insurance industry officials said Wednesday that they will seek certain tax breaks, instead of a direct bailout from Congress, to offset the billions of dollars of claims expected from last weeks terrorist attacks.
There is no need for us to go to Capitol Hill for assistance to pay claims, a spokesman for the American Council of Life Insurers said.
But industry officials said they may pursue such relief as government waivers of requirements for death notices to pay claims related to the terrorist attacks, and tax breaks such as credits for the cost of claims related to the disaster or income tax exemptions on reserves held to deal with catastrophes.
Separately, Committee Chairman Michael G. Oxley and ranking Democrat John J. LaFalce announced late Tuesday that they were seeking confirmation from all involved insurers, domestic and foreign, primary insurers and reinsurers, that they will honor their commitments.
The announcement came in a letter to Kathleen Sebelius, Kansas insurance commissioner and president of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. The congressmen asked the insurance commissioners for help in confirming payments, and to keep House Financial Services briefed on the financial health of the industry.
The lawmakers specifically warned that no insurer or reinsurer should invoke act of war exclusions to escape its obligation to the victims of the World Trade Center disaster.