As House Prepares Terrorism Insurance Bill Today, Coalition Offers Support and Senate Readies Its Own

November 16, 2005

Business insurance consumers represented by the multi-industry
Coalition to Insure Against Terrorism have expressed their support for
federal terrorism insurance legislation that will be marked up by the House Committee on Financial Services and Senate Banking Committee today.

Meanwhile, the Senate committee with jurisdiction over terrorism insurance said it had come to agreement on its own bill.

In a letter to the House panel’s leadership, CIAT called the House’s two-year extension of the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act being considered “a significant step toward securing the economy against terrorism risk.”

However, reports out of Washington indicate that the White House and Treasury think the House measure does not go far enough to restrict the government’s role.

According to the coalition, if the House version is enacted, “this legislation [H.R. 4314] will ensure that the nation’s workers and businesses will be able to secure adequate and affordable insurance coverage against terrorism after year-end…”

The current TRIA is schedueld to expire on Dec. 31, 2005.

Meanwhile the Senate is also stirring with activity on TRIA.

The Senate Banking Committee today announced its agreeemnt on a bill (S.467) and said it would set a date for mark-up very soon.

Banking Committee Chairman Richard Shelby (R-Al.), along with Senators Robert Bennett (R-Utah) and Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.), have together sponsored the Senate TRIA extension.

Chairman Shelby said, “I am pleased that my colleagues and I have been able to reach a compromise on extending the TRIA program. I believe that it strikes the appropriate balance between the needs of the industry and efforts to foster greater private market solutions. Further, I believe that this compromise is consistent with recommendations offered by the Treasury Department and shared by consumer groups and other taxpayer interests.”

“This is a common-sense proposal. It reaffirms that we need to continue to remain vigilant in protecting our country’s economic foundation from any possible future terrorist attack or threat,” said Senator Dodd. “This legislation provides a vital financial backstop that can help innoculate our economy from any potential future terrorist threat and protect jobs and our economy. We can only hope that it is never needed.”

In its letter to senators, CIAT expressed support for that
chamber’s compromise legislation as well, explaining that it would result in a sound policy “to enable the economy to quickly recover should another terroist attack occur in the United States.”

The Senate bill has also met with initial support from the insurance industry’s Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI) President and CEO Ernie Csiszar.

“PCI is pleased the senators have included provisions in S. 467 that will allow competitive, efficient terrorism markets to grow and innovate over the next two years,” Csiszar said.

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