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A Government Accountability Office (GAO) study of how six European countries deal with catastrophe risks found that four provide government backing for terrorism insurance. The report is seen as a plus for congressional renewal of the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act (TRIA), which expires at the end of 2005. “Many countries around the world–not just major European countries, but countries like Israel and South Africa–have long since determined that terrorism is not a risk that can be completely insured in the private sector,” says Robert Hartwig, chief economist with the Insurance Information Institute. “And these are countries that have a lot more experience with terrorism than we do.”

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