What happens when you have a fender bender, before your insurance company and the other driver’s insurance company decide who covers the cost? The insurance adjusters do an investigation. They have routines and forms. They check out police reports, based on police investigations. The greater the damage, the more thorough the inquest. Insurance companies do not make decisions about payments until they have gathered all available information about the collision.
Nearly three years after the attacks, the 9/11 Commission published its nearly useless, content-free report on July 22, 2004, after many insurance payments had already been allocated or disbursed.
Insurers paid out $39.5 billion as a result of the 9/11 attacks. These covered losses and liabilities included destruction of property, business interruption, aviation losses, workers’ compensation, life and liability claims. Yet insurance companies made these payments based on no investigation of any type! Crews carted structural steel out of Manhattan. Nearly three years after the attacks, the 9/11 Commission published its nearly useless, content-free report on July 22, 2004, after many insurance payments had already been allocated or disbursed. Moreover, the federal government classified basic information about the attacks and causes of destruction, so insurance companies had no access to data required to make decisions.
Attention has tended to focus on Larry Silverstein, for a variety of reasons. He held a hundred year lease on the buildings, and received $4.5 billion from his insurers to cover his loss of property. Reports on Silverstein often note that he is Jewish, so he must be part of a Zionist plot. Ignore such distractions. Do remember Silverstein’s bald statement of his decision to ‘pull’ WTC 7: that is not a distraction. That’s an important piece of evidence, since WTC 7 was obviously pulled, to use the trade term.
How did the feds make insurers pay such large amounts, when all information – from video cameras no less – pointed toward controlled demolition of the Twin Towers and WTC 7?
For all that, we still have $35 billion in other insurance payments, all of them based on no investigation at all. How could that happen?
The same type of reasoning applies to all cases where something out of the ordinary occurs, or where something ordinary does not occur. In “The Adventure of Silver Blaze”, Sherlock Holmes solves a case about a stolen race horse and murdered trainer because he notes a dog did not bark in the night-time, when it should have. For the 9/11 attacks, insurance companies paid out a large amount of money without a determination of liability, which always occurs in other cases. Of course we can say, “Something’s not right here,” and begin to speculate. Or we can do as Holmes does: try to reconstruct what occurred based on all the evidence available.
We are talking about businessmen here, insurance executives responsible to shareholders. People like that do not pay out billions based on fraud, speculation, guesswork, or compassion.
So we want to ask, as we try to develop a story based on truth, “What compensation did insurers receive for their willingness to underwrite 9/11 losses?” We are talking about businessmen here, insurance executives responsible to shareholders. People like that do not pay out billions based on fraud, speculation, guesswork, or compassion. What leverage did government have over the insurance companies, where the feds could make insurers pay such large amounts with no determination of liability based on what actually happened? We can narrow that question, and make it more pointed: how did the feds make insurers pay such large amounts, when all information – from video cameras no less – pointed toward controlled demolition of the Twin Towers and WTC 7?
Governments do exercise a lot of regulatory control over insurance companies, just as they do over banks. This control generally extends to state insurance commissions’ regulation of insurance rates. The federal government does not have authority to coerce payments to cover property or other kinds of losses, when insurers have not determined what caused those losses. So we still have a mystery. Why did insurers pay out so much without a peep, or a bark? Why did they not object?