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Terrorism insurance tops agenda of 2002 legislative agenda

New position adopted on insurance coverage for commercial buildings

"We will move forward together" was the predominant theme among the 350 delegates who attended the recent Building Owners and Managers Association's Winter Business Meeting and Leadership Conference.

BOMA's Board of Governors reassessed the organization's legislative and regulatory priorities in light of Congress' changed agenda since Sept. 11. Ultimately, the board unanimously approved a modified slate of "Tier One" advocacy issues, which are outlined in BOMA International's Issue Report 2002: Private property rights, emergency preparedness, telecommunications, terrorism insurance, sprinkler replacement/class action lawsuit, energy, building codes, taxes, energy efficiency; mold/bio-terrorism, land use, transportation/smart growth, banks in real estate, the Americans with Disabilities Act and sustainability/green buildings.

The Board of Governors also unanimously approved a new BOMA position statement on one of the newest issues facing the commercial real estate industry: Insurance coverage for acts of terrorism and war.

Recognizing that new policies are likely to exclude both acts of terrorism and war and that reinsurance for terrorism is now unavailable in the marketplace, BOMA's approved policy reads as follows:

"The Building Owners and Managers Association urges the state and federal government to play a role in ensuring that commercial property owners can continue to obtain coverage for damage from acts of terrorism, at reasonable and affordable rates. Further, given the increasing possibility that future events could convert the existing situation to a state of war, the government also should play a role, at least in a standby capacity, for coverage of acts of war. BOMA welcomes the opportunity to work with the Administration and Congress to achieve a workable solution to this immediate problem as soon as possible."

"Due to the events of Sept. 11, our members will be facing one of the most challenging years in the history of this industry," said BOMA San Diego President Cybele Thompson. "However, as the government watchdog for the commercial real estate professional, BOMA will continue to pursue and push forth public policies and advocacy issues in San Diego, in Sacramento, and in Washington D.C. that will benefit and protect the rights of our members within the industry."

Murphy, RPA, CPM, of CB Richard Ellis is vice president of BOMA San Diego.

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