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Nearly 3,000 people perished in the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania, excluding the 19 hijackers. Total insured losses from the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City and the Pentagon were about $50 billion in 2021 dollars, including property, life, and liability insurance claim costs. It is the worst terrorist attack on record in terms of fatalities and insured property losses, which totaled about $29 billion in 2021 dollars, according to Swiss Re data. Other organizations may have different estimates for this event.

Both the difficulties of insuring terrorism risk and concerns about the limited availability of terrorism coverage after the 9/11 attacks led to the enactment in 2002 of the Terrorisms Risk Insurance Act (TRIA). The act created the Terrorism Risk Insurance Program (TRIP), a federal loss-sharing program for certain insured losses resulting from a certified act of terrorism.

Top 20 Costliest Terrorist Acts by Insured Property Losses

(2021 $ millions)

Rank Date Country Location Event Insured property
loss (1)
(2021 $ millions)
Fatalities
1 September 11, 2001 U.S. New York, Washington DC,
Pennsylvania
Hijacked airliners crash into
World Trade Center and Pentagon
$28,862 (2) 2,982
2 April 24, 1993 U.K. London Bomb explodes near NatWest tower
in the financial district
1,394 1
3 June 15, 1996 U.K. Manchester Irish Republican Army (IRA) car bomb
explodes near shopping mall
1,143 0
4 April 10, 1992 U.K. London Bomb explodes in financial district 1,031 3
5 February 26, 1993 U.S. New York Bomb explodes in garage of World Trade Center 961 6
6 July 24, 2001 Sri Lanka Colombo Rebels destroy 3 airliners, 8 military aircraft and
heavily damage 3 civilian aircraft
612 20
7 February 9, 1996 U.K. London IRA bomb explodes in South Key Docklands 398 2
8 June 23, 1985 North Atlantic Irish Sea Bomb explodes on board of an Air India Boeing 747 249 329
9 April 19, 1995 U.S. OK, Oklahoma City Truck bomb detonates outside government building 223 166
10 September 12, 1970 Jordan Zerqa, Dawson's Field
(disused RAF airstrip in desert)
Hijacked Swissair DC-8, TWA Boeing 707,
BOAC VC-10 dynamited on ground
195 0
11 September 6, 1970 Egypt Cairo Hijacked PanAm B-747 dynamited on ground 170 0
12 April 11, 1992 U.K. London Bomb explodes in financial district 147 0
13 November 26, 2008 India Mumbai Attack on two hotels; Jewish center 130 172
14 March 27, 1993 Germany Weiterstadt Bomb attack on a newly built, still unoccupied prison 108 0
15 December 30, 2006 Spain Madrid Bomb explodes in car garage at Barajas Airport 89 2
16 December 21, 1988 U.K. Lockerbie Bomb explodes on board of a PanAm Boeing 747 87 270
17 July 25, 1983 Sri Lanka   Riot 73 0
18 July 7, 2005 U.K. London Four bombs explode during rush hour in the London Underground and bus 72 52
19 November 23, 1996 Comoros Indian Ocean Hijacked Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 767-260 ditched at sea 69 127
20 March 17, 1992 Argentina Buenos Aires Bomb attack on Israel's embassy in Buenos Aires 58 24

(1) Includes bodily injury and aviation hull losses. Updated to 2021 dollars by the Insurance Information Institute using the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics CPI Inflation Calculator.
(2) Differs from inflation-adjusted estimates made by other organizations due to the use of different deflators.

Source: Swiss Re, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Insurance Information Institute.

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