Archive: March, 2006
What’s the price of an ambiguous insurance contract? About a billion dollars in the case of Larry Silverstein’s policy over the World Trade Center’s Twin Towers. That’s a billion good reasons to get the fine print right.
One or two events that changed the world
Silverstein, the holder of a 99 year lease over the Twin Towers, and a syndicate of insurers that agreed to cover the property, were back in court this week, with both sides continuing their fight over the question whether the September 11 attack on the buildings was one event or two. If the two planes were a single incident, the insurers pay one amount. If the two planes were two separate incidents, the insurers pay a larger amount. The difference? Over a billion US dollars.
When it was discovered that only four out of sixty contracts signed with a pair of external consultants went out to tender, New Zealand MP Murray McCully accused the Health Ministry of “cronyism on steroids”. Now he reckons the Auditor-General’s report on the matter portrays a saga of “incompetence on a monumental scale”.