S. 2600, the "Terrorism Risk Insurance Act of 2002," will help construction users obtain insurance protection at a time when many lenders have refused to underwrite terrorism risk policies. The unavailability of such insurance has been hurting the construction industry by making the cost and risk of undertaking new building projects prohibitive.
The Senate bill will provide a federal reinsurance backstop for a short period of time, until the private reinsurance market recovers.
Concurrently, a panel convened by Building Owners and Management Association (BOMA) International discussed establishing a risk criteria for individual buildings, said to be "critical to future planning." Jim Crum of the White House's Office of Homeland Security said, "One of the things we're trying to do is provide avenues to share this information throughout the country to the people who need it and who are making a difference. The states have also taken the initiative by coordinating with us to create a 'Tom Ridge' in every state - a homeland state security office that can serve as a source of information and as a clearinghouse for emergency preparation and emergency threat assessment."