Iraqis Can Now Buy Terror Insurance

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The New York Times reports that at least one thing has a guaranteed future in Iraq: terror insurance.  The state-owned Iraq Insurance Company has begun to insure ordinary Iraqis against, according to the policy rider, "the following dangers: 1) explosions caused by weapons of war and car bombs; 2) assassinations; 3) terrorist attacks."

It appears to be the first off-the-shelf terrorism policy in the world, according to insurance experts contacted by the Times.   For 125,000 dinars, the policy will pay out five million dinars, which sounds like a lot, and it is a lot of dinars, I guess, but only about $3,500 American.

American consumer-rights advocates say the policy is way overpriced.  According to the expert the Times quoted, for the equivalent of 125,000 dinars you could get maybe $75,000 in coverage, "and that would cover you no matter how you died."

So far the company has sold about 200 individual policies, and is negotiating with government agencies and employers to sell group policies, which is probably a good sign that things are going really well in Iraq.  Although they say they have yet to pay on a single claim.  "The contract is a good luck charm," said an IIC executive.  Could be, or it could be that a guy who happened to be standing next to a car bomb has a little trouble filling out the claim form.

New York Times