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Many insurance companies already planned to increase rates and restrict commercial coverage, for the coming year. But insurance officials are busy boosting the estimates of rate increases because of last week's terrorist attacks.
Losses associated with the destruction of the World Trade Center and the four hijacked airplanes are expected to top $20 billion. Yet this staggering estimate represents only about 2 percent of the premiums written in 2000, according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.
In all, the U.S. insurance industry is a $1 trillion business with assets of more than $3 trillion.
"Many insurance companies are stable …