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RIMS hails terror backstop bill

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NEW YORK--The Risk & Insurance Management Society Inc. is "very pleased" with legislation that would extend the federal terrorism insurance backstop for 10 years, according to a RIMS official with responsibility for government affairs.

"We think the House has hit a home run with this legislation," said Terry Fleming, a director of New York-based RIMS and director-risk management for Montgomery County in Rockville, Md.

But Mr. Fleming said that RIMS is "somewhat concerned" about a provision in the Terrorism Risk Insurance Revision and Extension Act that would require insurers that participate in the program to make available coverage for nuclear, chemical, biological and radiological risks.

"We feel there is not enough capacity for conventional" terrorism risks, he said. "Lumping the NCBR make-available provision" in with existing mandatory make-available provisions could diminish capacity, he said. He said RIMS is waiting to see insurers' reaction to the bill.

In addition to requiring insurers to offer coverage for nuclear, chemical, biological and radiological risks, the House bill, which was introduced Monday, would extend the program 10 years beyond its scheduled Dec. 31 expiration date, allow the program cover acts of domestic as well as foreign terrorism, and extend its coverage to group life insurance.