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House group sets terror insurance backstop hearing


WASHINGTON--The House Financial Services Committee's Subcommittee on Capital Markets, Insurance and Government Sponsored Enterprises will hold a hearing on the federal terrorism insurance backstop next Thursday.

The announcement came as Democratic and Republican members of the committee attempted to work out differences over the contents of a bill that would extend the backstop beyond its scheduled Dec. 31 expiration.

One of the most significant disagreements, according to various sources, is over how long the program should be extended. Democratic members of the committee appear to favor a 10-year extension, while their Republican counterparts prefer a shorter term, albeit of at least five years.

The two sides also differ over how much insurers would have to repay the federal government if a terrorist attack were to trigger the backstop to pay for insurers' losses. A final bill may also require insurers to offer some coverage for nuclear, chemical, biological radiological risks.

Other issues that remain to be resolved include whether the backstop should apply to group life insurance and whether it should respond to acts of domestic as well as foreign terrorism.