24 March 2002 21:54 [Source: ICIS news]
SAN ANTONIO, Texas (CNI)--The US chemicals industry is clubbing together to help ensure its plants and liabilities are adequately insured following the terorist attacks last September on New York and Washington.
Gene Allspach, president and chief operating officer of Equistar, said here on Sunday that major companies were seeking to pool their insurance risks while at the same time continuing to urge the US government to help guarantee liability protection.
He said companies were taking the initiative to provide some form of self-insurance, possibly with certain levels of additional cover then being placed with reinsurance groups.
Allspach, who was speaking at the 27th annual International Petrochemical Conference (IPC), confirmed that both business interruption and property cover had become more difficult to obtain and significantly more costly since the events of 11 September.
He pointed out that the chemical industry had previously responded to difficulties in securing affordable individual cover by forming consortiums to provide insurance that was not commercialy available.
Allspach, who is petrochemicals committee chairman of the National Petrochemical & Refiners Association (NPRA), sponsors of the IPC, said the association supported the efforts being made by individual companies. However, he said the initiative was being pursued by the companies directly and not through the NPRA.
Bob Slaughter, newly appointed president of the NPRA, confirmed that the association had asked for government support help to provide cover against terrorist acts. He said there was a bill going through the House that involved tort reform among other measures aimed at ensuring cover for US chemical plants and their insurers. "It has the support of the administration," he said.
The IPC opened today and continues through Tuesday.
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