Terrorism Insurance: Do you need it? - WSLS 10 NBC in Roanoke/Lynchburg Va

Terrorism Insurance: Do you need it?

Posted: Updated:

How close could terrorism come to Florida's beaches, airports, or sports stadiums? It's why local police train for such events and why those local agencies have created a Terrorism Task Force.

But it's also causing some business owners to ask a question they likely never would have 15 years ago: Do I need terrorism insurance?

"I think that's why you have insurance, right: You never know when something will happen," said Kristy Williamson, owner of Vida De Café in Pass-A-Grille, the laid back beach community on the Pinellas coast.

Williamson decided to opt out of terrorism coverage this year.

"Every single business every year is offered the opportunity to buy terrorism coverage," Bob Hartwig, President and Economist for the Insurance Information Institute in New York. "That's actually a requirement of the law."

The need to offer it came after the September 11 attacks in New York.

"In exchange for the government coming in and providing a financial backstop against very large-scale terrorist attacks, insurers were required to offer the coverage," Hartwig said.

Now if three federal agencies (U.S. Secretary of Treasury, Secretary of State, and Attorney General) certify an attack as an act of terrorism, businesses must have opted for the insurance for their policies to cover damages.

"For your average business in your average city - talking about a small business - it could be $25, $50 a year ... $100 a year," Hartwig said. "Most businesses are at very low risk and they don't have a lot of property at risk."

Larger businesses or higher-profile structures like airports, theme parks or sports stadiums will pay higher premiums; into the thousands sometimes.

"It would only cost your average business owner in the Tampa Bay-Clearwater area a few dollars to buy that coverage," Hartwig said. "It buys peace of mind and a place like Florida could be attractive to terrorists in the future as they increasingly move towards softer targets all across the country."

But small business owners like Williamson have paid close attention to every dollar these last few years. Not only is Florida climbing out of a recession but many of the small businesses here close to the coast are paying for wind and flood insurance.

Will she buy into terrorism coverage?

"Depends on the deductible," Williamson said. "If it's going to cost me more money - then why would I do it?"

  • 8 On Your SideMore>>

  • Are background checks enough for Florida teachers?

    Are background checks enough for Florida teachers?

    Friday, April 18 2014 7:41 PM EDT2014-04-18 23:41:35 GMT

    In an effort to weed out potential perverts, Florida law requires fingerprinting and criminal background checks before school districts hire employees that will have any contact with children.

    In an effort to weed out potential perverts, Florida law requires fingerprinting and criminal background checks before school districts hire employees that will have any contact with children.


  • Pasco mix-up sends registration notices to wrong drivers

    Pasco mix-up sends registration notices to wrong drivers

    Friday, April 18 2014 6:02 PM EDT2014-04-18 22:02:51 GMT
    The vehicle registration information of hundreds of drivers in Pasco County were sent to the wrong person in a mix-up that led to the firing of a contractor.
    The vehicle registration information of hundreds of drivers in Pasco County were sent to the wrong person in a mix-up that led to the firing of a contractor.
  • Flushable wipes, not so flushable says Tampa's wastewater officials

    Flushable wipes, not so flushable says Tampa's wastewater officials

    Friday, April 18 2014 3:52 PM EDT2014-04-18 19:52:20 GMT
    Personal wipes, baby wipes, face wipes, flushable wipes. They are all designed to help us deal with delicate issues. But the wipes themselves are actually pretty sturdy and increasingly local water systems are finding they are creating costly problems.
    Personal wipes, baby wipes, face wipes, flushable wipes. They are all designed to help us deal with delicate issues. But the wipes themselves are actually pretty sturdy and increasingly local water systems are finding they are creating costly problems.
  • NewsMore>>

  • Transcript reveals confusion over ferry evacuation

    Transcript reveals confusion over ferry evacuation

    Sunday, April 20 2014 9:52 AM EDT2014-04-20 13:52:59 GMT
    The confirmed death toll from South Korea's ferry disaster rose past 50 on Sunday as divers finally found a way inside the sunken vessel, quickly discovering more than a dozen bodies in what almost certainly is...
    A transcript released Sunday shows the South Korean ferry that sank was crippled with confusion and indecision well after it began listing dangerously, possibly adding to a death toll that is officially at 58 but could...
  • Pope Francis, huge crowd joyously celebrate Easter

    Pope Francis, huge crowd joyously celebrate Easter

    Sunday, April 20 2014 9:32 AM EDT2014-04-20 13:32:48 GMT
    Pope Francis is celebrating Christianity's most joyous day, Easter Sunday, under sunny skies in St. Peter's Square.
    Marking Christianity's most hopeful day, Pope Francis made an Easter Sunday plea for peace and dialogue in Ukraine and Syria, for an end to terrorist attacks against Christians in Nigeria and for more attention to the...
  • Marijuana firm purchases buildings in Manatee County

    Marijuana firm purchases buildings in Manatee County

    Sunday, April 20 2014 9:31 AM EDT2014-04-20 13:31:04 GMT
    Registered voters in Florida vote on the issue in November. Registered voters in Florida vote on the issue in November.
    A publicly traded firm that appears to be positioning itself in advance of a medical marijuana vote in Florida later this year has acquired a trio of industrial buildings just north of the Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport.The Herald-Tribune reports that Cannabis Rx is believed to have recently paid roughly $1.2 million for the 9.26-acre property.
    A publicly traded firm that appears to be positioning itself in advance of a medical marijuana vote in Florida later this year has acquired a trio of industrial buildings just north of the Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport.The Herald-Tribune reports that Cannabis Rx is believed to have recently paid roughly $1.2 million for the 9.26-acre property.
  • Henry County Suspicious Activity

    Henry County Suspicious Activity

    Saturday, April 19 2014 10:07 PM EDT2014-04-20 02:07:16 GMT
    Press Release from the Henry County Sheriff's OfficeThe Henry County Sheriff’s Office received a call on April 18, 2014 regarding suspicious activity. Three white males driving a white pickup truck were seen in the area of Glen Court in the Ridgeway area of Henry County. The individuals walked to the back of a residence but a neighbor yelled at them and they left. Entry into the home was not gained. On April 19, 2014, three white males were seen on Andra Drive, also in Ridgeway. A male subjec...
    Press Release from the Henry County Sheriff's OfficeThe Henry County Sheriff’s Office received a call on April 18, 2014 regarding suspicious activity. Three white males driving a white pickup truck were seen in the area of Glen Court in the Ridgeway area of Henry County. The individuals walked to the back of a residence but a neighbor yelled at them and they left. Entry into the home was not gained. On April 19, 2014, three white males were seen on Andra Drive, also in Ridgeway. A male subjec...
  • 3 Blacksburg companies raise major capital

    3 Blacksburg companies raise major capital

    Thursday, April 17 2014 2:29 PM EDT2014-04-17 18:29:23 GMT
    Three Blacksburg companies have raised major capital recently.
    Three Blacksburg companies have raised major capital recently.
  • Bedford Co. Sheriff's Office investigates burglary at country club

    Bedford Co. Sheriff's Office investigates burglary at country club

    Wednesday, April 16 2014 12:16 PM EDT2014-04-16 16:16:02 GMT
    Investigators with the Bedford County Sheriff's Office are investigating a burglary of the Boonsboro Country Club.
    Investigators with the Bedford County Sheriff's Office are investigating a burglary of the Boonsboro Country Club.
Powered by WorldNow

WSLS 10, P.O. Box 10
Roanoke, VA 24022-0010

Telephone: 540.981.9110
Fax: 540.343.3157
Email: news@wsls.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.