New York governor Eliot Spitzer announced yesterday that the final $2 billion in disputed insurance claims over property at the World Trade Center have been resolved, clearing the way for more construction. The exact amount that seven insurers were to pay to Silverstein Properties, which leased the Twin Towers, and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which owns the site, had remained in dispute until the May 23 settlement.
The nearly six-year delay had held up financing for Silverstein to construction Towers 2, 3, and 4 along the eastern portion of the World Trade Center site. The developer will receive roughly 56 percent of the $2 billion and the Port Authority will receive the rest. Court decisions had capped the total amount of damages Silverstein could receive at $4.68 billion. Paying into the settlement are Zurich American Insurance, Swiss Reinsurance, Employers Insurance, Allianz Global Risks U.S. Insurance, Industrial Risk Insurers, and Royal Indemnity.
Officials from the New York governor’s office stepped in to help finish the agreement. “It is essential that the rebuilding at the World Trade Center site proceed as quickly as possible,” Spitzer said in a statement. “The unsettled insurance claims were the last major barrier to rebuilding and have been bitterly and intensely contested for almost six years.”