House of Representatives Passes Terrorism Risk Insurance Revision and Extension Act
September 20, 2007
Washington, DC - The U.S. House of Representatives today passed H.R. 2761, the Terrorism Risk Insurance Revision and Extension Act of 2007 (TRIREA), by a vote of 312 to 110. The legislation will extend the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act (TRIA) for fifteen years and help spur the further development of a private market for terrorism risk insurance. After the 9/11 terrorist attacks, many insurance companies excluded terrorism events from their insurance policies. As a result, Congress passed TRIA as a three year temporary program in 2002, which created a federal backstop to protect against terrorism related losses. In 2005, Congress extended the program for two additional years. TRIA is now set to expire at the end of this year unless Congress acts again to extend the law.
“TRIA has helped make terrorism insurance available and affordable to businesses, particularly those in our major urban areas. Improving and extending this program will help spur America’s continued economic development by providing certainty that terrorism insurance will be available for years to come,” stated Congressman Mike Capuano.
“This legislation is essential to the continued growth and development of American cities and to provide needed protections for those who work, live and invest in downtown areas,” said Frank. “This is a matter of national security and we cannot allow murderous thugs to define where we should build, where we should live and where we should work.”
Since its enactment, TRIA has ensured the availability of affordable terrorism risk insurance in the marketplace and thereby fostered continued urban development and real estate development in the United States. While the TRIA program has successfully kept terrorism insurance affordable, the President’s Working Group on Financial Markets’ most recent report concluded that a private market for terrorism reinsurance is virtually nonexistent - especially with regard to nuclear, biological, chemical, and radiological (NBCR) acts of terrorism. The Terrorism Risk Insurance Revision and Extension Act of 2007 (TRIREA) includes provisions to:
- Extend TRIA for 15 years with current co-payments and deductibles for conventional terrorism acts;
- Expand TRIA’s “make available” requirement to include NBCR coverage;
- Change TRIA’s definition of act of terrorism to include acts of domestic terrorism;
Set the program trigger at $50 million;
- Add group life insurance to the lines of insurance for which terrorism coverage must be made available;
- Decrease deductibles for terrorist attacks over $1 billion and decrease the trigger after such events; and,
- Continue to require studies of the development of a private market for terrorism risk insurance.
The House today also adopted Chairman Frank’s manager’s amendment which clarifies the certification process for acts of NBCR terrorism and the definition of NBCR terrorism to allow Treasury to distinguish between conventional and NBCR losses arising from the same act. The amendment also selects the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers for indexing to inflation the dollar amounts used in TRIA. Additionally, the amendment applies the existing reset mechanism to acts of NBCR terrorism to provide relief for insurers who are being required to offer NBCR coverage for the first time.
H.R. 2761 was introduced in the House on June 18, 2007 and is sponsored by Rep. Capuano and Chairman Frank. The House Committee on Financial Services passed H.R. 2761 on August 1, 2007.