On April 25, 2013, the Massachusetts Division of Insurance (“DOI”) issued a bulletin offering “guidance and recommendations” regarding the handling of insurance claims, premium payments, and underwriting of coverage related to the April 15, 2013 bombings in Boston. Of note, the DOI indicates that insurers are required to promptly investigate all claims, and “encourages” insurers to temporarily suspend vacancy provisions for those temporarily displaced.

The DOI states that prompt investigation “includes the investigation of the causation of loss to ascertain if coverage exists on a claim-by-claim basis.” Typical commercial insurance policies exclude coverage for terrorism (and may also contain other exclusions that could apply to losses caused by the Boston bombings), but under the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act of 2002, insureds have a right to purchase terrorism coverage for an additional premium. An example of a terrorism exclusion provides that the insurer will not pay for loss or damage caused directly or indirectly by a “certified act of terrorism,” which is defined as “an act that is certified by the Secretary of Treasury, in concurrence with the Secretary of State and the Attorney General of the United States, to be an act of terrorism pursuant to the federal Terrorism Risk Insurance Act of 2002.” The Secretary of Treasury, Secretary of State and the U.S. Attorney General have not yet determined whether to make such a certification.