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Financial services group calls for TRIA expansion


WASHINGTON--Extending and expanding the federal terrorism insurance backstop is a key way to minimize the costs associated with major catastrophes, according to a report issued Friday by the Financial Services Roundtable Blue Ribbon Commission on Megacatastrophes.

The Washington-based Financial Services Roundtable, which consists of 100 of the largest financial services companies in the United States, says that the program, slated to expire on Dec. 31, should be extended "on a long-term basis" but should be amended to include coverage for group life insurance as well as property/casualty coverages. The report also calls on Congress to allow the backstop to apply to losses caused by domestic terrorism.

Among its more than 20 other recommendations, the report calls for enforcing statewide building codes and taking steps to minimize the impact of a future influenza pandemic, and also urges Congress to allow insurers to choose to be regulated by federal rather than state authorities.

Making an optional federal charter available to insurers "would help ensure the availability of privately supplied catastrophe insurance by allowing market forces, guided by actuarial and scientific principles, to set insurance premiums," according to the report.

The report is available at