I read this article many times with many different lenses. It's a difficult, if not near impossible, balancing act. In fact right after the event, I recall getting into a discussion online with a number of folks on this with some very different views, a really interesting discussion.
There are many things here at play, most importantly - we simply don't want this full stop - we would rather terrorism simply didn't exist. However, sadly it is happening and so our focus turns to the aftermath.
This exactly what insurance is there for - to protect us and return us to pre-loss conditions. Of course there is no replacement of human life, period. How we move to rebuild in the days, weeks and months after such events is a critical period - one which insurers are deeply engaged in.
Re-building your business in the wake of such events, as Oliver points out, is equally as traumatic, waiting for specific market conditions to return to normal can take an amazingly long time (sometimes it will never reopen if you look to recent events in the US with shootings in a Miami nightclub).
But where should the insurance company stand? It's such a difficult balance to call. In simple terms, most people and companies would have had the option to buy certain levels of terrorism cover and made a conscious or economic choice to take this out. My significant experience in claims is that if there is a genuine claim, then insurers don't shy away from paying.
Taking out cover for this particular area means you also need to have a good understanding of the wording and clauses used. A clear understanding what is covered and what is not, as well as what specialist help and guidance will be provided in the time of need.
So if you don't have this cover, should you be entitled to it compared to those that did? In the black and white letter of the law, no. Others would say - it is a near impossible question to offer opinion on. I don't believe it has anything to do with CSR of the firm or anything related to this.
Many similar cases have caused years of wrangling over insurance - we could look back to the dreadful events of 9/11 and the ensuing multi year legal challenge around insurance.
Coming back to London, Beazely and others have started to address this with more relevant products for today's market. We definitely need (and I'm confident will see) more of this. It gives customers options, as well as insights into what others in the area are taking up.
Beyond this, we could argue we need major cities specifically in high risk zones to receive local or central government intervention - in the same way we have for Flood Re, maybe a flexible premium linked to the UK's official Threat Level?
In terms of paying out, an insurance carrier will often look at many factors here beyond the contract such as; long term loyalty, premium, their proximity to such events for their own teams or general goodwill, but calling them out when you didn't have an appropriate cover? It's hard for me agree that they should be ashamed of themselves.