After the September 11 terrorist attacks, insurance companies paid out billions in damages — more than ever before. So in 2002, Congress agreed to help in the future by creating federally insured — and relatively cheap — terrorism coverage for businesses.
Claims under that coverage were filed for the first time after the Boston Marathon bombings. But insurance companies haven’t paid out — because the federal government doesn’t consider the Boston Marathon bombing an act of terrorism.
After the marathon bombings, police and other investigators swarmed downtown and barricaded off whole blocks to examine what’s been called the most complex crime scene in history.
“Nobody knew if there was going to be more bombs or anything,” said Perry Geyer, whose company, Cybersound Studios, is around the corner from the bombing sites on Newbury street. He says as the manhunt for suspects continued, artists from across the country canceled recording sessions and Geyer lost thousands of dollars.
“In the back of my mind, the whole time when this happened, I was like, ‘Wow, thank God I have the terrorism insurance — I’m sure this is going to cover it, if this isn’t a terrorist act, then what is?'”
There’s an answer to that question from the U.S. Secretary of the Treasury.
In an email yesterday, a spokesperson for the office said they have reviewed the events in Boston, and the treasury secretary did not find that there had been an “act of terrorism” under the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act.