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House committee to consider insurance issues


WASHINGTON--The House Financial Services Committee expects to take up at least three major insurance issues after it convenes under new leadership in January, according to a key member of the committee.

Rep. Dennis Moore, D-Kan., said the committee would consider extension of the federal terrorism insurance backstop, the possibility of allowing insurers to seek federal rather than state charters and seeking solutions to natural catastrophe risks in the new Congress.

"All of these issues are high on the Financial Services list," said Rep. Moore during brief comments Wednesday morning at a seminar on insuring catastrophic risks sponsored by Washington law firm Wiley Rein & Fielding L.L.P. and the University of Connecticut School of Law.

The legislative director for Rep. Paul Kanjorski, D-Pa., who is likely to chair the committee's subcommittee that deals with insurance issues, fleshed out Rep. Moore's comments.

"One of the biggest things" is the federal terrorism insurance backstop, which is slated to expire on Dec, 31, 2007, said Todd Harper. "We want to do this right away," he said, rather than waiting until the expiration dates looms.

Mr. Harper noted that there is a growing interest among lawmakers in creating a permanent solution to the terrorism insurance issue rather than extending a short-term program repeatedly.