Pool Re Terrorism Threat Update: October 2020
October witnessed a noticeable increase in the frequency of Islamist attacks in Europe. In France, a spate of attacks related to the ongoing controversy around the publication of caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed led the French Interior Ministry to raise the national security alert system to its highest level.
In Germany, an attack on tourists signalled that the threat from Islamist extremism persists regardless of any exacerbating national controversies. In his first public address, the new head of MI5 reiterated this, identifying Islamist extremism as the primary terror threat facing the UK.
While the frequency of recent attacks in France likely reflects a specific national dynamic, the heightened threat landscape across the continent likely represents a return to normalcy after COVID-19-related restrictions disrupted attack plans and restricted the ability of terrorists to target the public. A return to strict ‘lockdown’ measures in response to rising COVID-19 cases would likely see a similar dynamic play out in coming months..
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Pool Re’s purpose is to enable the UK insurance market to offer terrorism cover to any commercial property that requires it. Central to this is the integration of Pool Re’s cover with the underlying property policy which ensures that there is no gap in the cover provided.
Pool Re was designed to insulate the taxpayer from potential financial losses arising from acts of terrorism. It has achieved this effectively, to date paying £635m in respect of 13 claims arising from certified terrorism events in the UK since our establishment. It has never called on the Government’s guarantee.
By providing foundational stability at a reinsurance level, Pool Re has created an environment for the commercial market to re-establish itself, following the market failure in 1992. This stability creates and sustains access, liquidity and confidence to generate the conditions for the private market to gradually write a growing portion of terrorism risk.
Helping UK businesses build resilience against terrorism risk is a priority for Pool Re who have developed SOLUTIONS an in-house centre of excellence created to support Members and policyholders better understand risk awareness, modelling, and management. They have also invested in a range of initiatives with Government security and intelligence agencies to provide tools such as an information sharing platform.
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