Agents Group to Support Terrorism Backstop Study

January 25, 2006

The Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America is throwing its support behind a study of the need for long-term federal terrorism insurance. The association backs a bipartisan bill introduced in the House of Representatives toward that end.

“The long term problem of terrorism risk, the exposure faced by insurers, and the needs of commercial policyholders requires a careful and comprehensive study,” says Big “I” CEO Robert A. Rusbuldt. “We applaud this serious effort to study this issue and to formulate viable solutions that will enhance our economic security, benefit commercial policy holders, ensure independent agents and brokers have a viable product for their commercial customers, and provide protection for American taxpayers by engaging in needed risk management.”

Sponsored by Rep. Vito Fossella (R-N.Y.), H.R. 4619, the Commission on the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act, would create a commission to study and report to Congress, by Dec. 31, 2006, whether a long-term federal terrorism backstop is needed when the current backstop expires. The extension to the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act (TRIA), enacted in December, is set to expire Dec. 31, 2007. The bill takes the commission language from the 2005 House-passed version of TRIA extension that was ushered through the U.S. House of Representatives by Chairmen Mike Oxley (R-Ohio) and Richard Baker (R-La.) at the end of last year.

“Main Street America is greatly interested in learning what such a commission would discover and recommend during the course of its work,” says Big “I” President William G. Stiglitz, an executive with the Hyland, Block & Hyland Agency in Louisville, Ky. “Terrorism risk is not confined to major markets. The effects of a catastrophic terrorist attack would reverberate throughout the industry and the nation’s entire business community, so we applaud this legislation and support it wholeheartedly.”

The bipartisan legislation is cosponsored by Republicans Sherwood Boehlert, Peter King, John McHugh, Tom Reynolds and John Sweeney of New York, and Christopher Shays of Connecticut, as well as Democrats Carolyn Maloney and Edolphus Towns, both of New York. It would create a commission including independent insurance agents and brokers and representatives from all sectors of the insurance industry, as well as the Secretary of the Treasury and a state insurance regulator.

Source: Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America

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