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Groundwork begins for TRIA renewal


With the federal terrorism insurance backstop program set to expire at the end of 2020, insurers and brokers are beginning to consider steps to take should any changes occur.

In November 2002, President George W. Bush signed into law the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act. The program was extended three times, most recently in January 2015 under the Terrorism Risk Insurance Program Reauthorization Act, which extended the backstop until Dec. 31, 2020.

“It’s definitely on our minds,” said Jennifer Rubin, vice president for war, terrorism and political violence for Hiscox Ltd. in New York. “When we’re writing multiyear deals now, we have to take that into consideration. Of course, no one knows what will happen, but we’re putting things into place now so that if it were to go away, our policies would respond.”

Policyholders with longer-term projects must make sure they are covered.

“It’s just started to get some attention, mainly now in the construction industry for large infrastructure-type projects or for any project running through the expiration of TRIA,” said Ben Tucker, head of U.S. terrorism and political violence insurance for XL Group Ltd. in New York.

Any extension of the backstop program could include changes to the terms of the coverage.

Mark Leverick, U.S. property terrorism leader for Aon Risk Solutions in New York, said he thinks TRIA will be extended rather than allowed to expire in 2020, but “that doesn’t mean to say there won’t be a different mechanism or different methodology.” One variable yet to play out is the U.S. midterm congressional election in November.

“It is being discussed, but in terms of having a real view, I think we need to get past the 2018 elections,” said Tarique Nageer, terrorism placement and advisory practice leader for Marsh USA Inc. in New York.



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