As the financial cost of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, D.C., continues to rise, the ramifications for insurers remains unclear. Indeed, while carriers certainly have the financial reserves to cover estimated losses, industry observers say the wounds suffered from the devastating attacks will take many months to heal."While the hit to the economy will obviously put expense pressure on many companies, I think the disaster itself will have the effect of changing company priorities," says John Hodge, chief information officer for NAC Reinsurance Corp., Stamford Conn. The company is a subsidiary of XL Capital Ltd., which estimates its losses from the attacks at $700 million (see chart).

"I believe the demands put on (insurance) IT organizations will be even greater than it was already," he adds. "For many people, personal priorities have changed with the events of Sept. 11; it's reasonable to assume this will be true on the corporate level as well."

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