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TRIA extension bill clears House financial committee

US Congress

Members of the House Financial Services Committee voted Thursday to pass H.R. 4634, the Terrorism Risk Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2019, as amended.

The amended bill introduced in U.S. House of Representatives to extend the federal terrorism insurance backstop would require a report by the U.S. Government Accountability Office “on cyber terrorism risks, and require biennial Treasury reporting that includes disaggregated data on places of worship.”

The backstop, widely referred to as TRIA after the original 2002 law that created it, is set to expire at the end of 2020. The amended bill shortens the extension to seven years from the original bill’s 10 years.

According to the bill’s text, the cyber report should analyze overall vulnerabilities and the potential costs of cyberattacks to U.S. infrastructure, whether “cyber liability under a property and casualty line of insurance is adequate coverage for an act of cyber terrorism,” whether cyber risks can be adequately priced, and whether the risk-sharing mechanism under TRIA is appropriate for a cyber terrorism event; and set out recommendation on how Congress could amend the act to “meet the next generation of cyber threats.”

The American Property Casualty Insurance Association lauded the bill’s progress.

“Today’s bipartisan vote is a positive step forward to ensure TRIA is in place without disruption to the marketplace and consumers,” said Nat Wienecke, senior vice president at the Chicago-based American Property Casualty Insurance Association, said in a Thursday statement. “TRIA provides the vital economic protections against acts of terrorism that businesses of all sizes rely upon. The risk of terrorism is still very real, and the TRIA program is still needed to promote economic stability both before and after an attack. We urge the full House to take up and pass this bill quickly.”

The National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies also welcomed Thursday’s vote.

“The TRIA program has been an essential part of preserving our national economic security since it was established in the wake of the 9/11 attacks,” Jimi Grande, senior vice president of government affairs for Indianapolis-based NAMIC, said in a statement.

“Unfortunately, the threat of terrorism has not gone away, and may always be with us. It is imperative that Congress not wait until next year’s deadline and instead move swiftly to send the Financial Services Committee bill to the president’s desk for signature as soon as possible,” he said.




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