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House passes terrorism backstop extension

terrorism backstop

The U.S. House of Representatives voted 385-22 on Monday night to pass the Terrorism Risk Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2019.

“It’s very gratifying to see that members of Congress understand the centrality that TRIA plays to a stable terrorism insurance marketplace,” said Nat Wienecke, Washington-based senior vice president of federal government relations at the American Property Casualty Insurance Association, which strongly supports the program’s extension.

The bill now moves to the U.S. Senate, where the Senate Banking Committee is expected to act on the legislation Wednesday, according to Mr. Wienecke.

Members of the House Financial Services Committee voted Oct. 31 to pass H.R. 4634, the Terrorism Risk Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2019, as amended.

The bill tweaks existing legislation by adding a provision for a study on relevant cyber exposures.

The cyber report is expected to 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.”

“Members want to get more data on cyber exposures,” Mr. Wienecke said, especially before making any further changes to the program’s parameters.

The coverage backstop program was renewed three times, most recently on Jan. 12, 2015, via the Terrorism Risk Insurance Program Reauthorization Act.

The last renewal occurred two weeks after the prior law expired, sending many policyholders, insurers and others scrambling to craft and implement solutions to lapses in coverage and other challenges. TRIPRA expires on Dec. 31, 2020.

The latest iteration of the legislation also includes language relating to coverage for “houses of worship,” the result of inquiries from constituents of some congressional members, according to Mr. Wienecke.

“Members are trying to get more information on how this coverage would apply to houses of worship,” he said.

The adjustment to seven years from the original 10-year extension included in the bill as originally proposed was in concession to a request from House Financial Services Committee ranking member Patrick McHenry to accommodate GOP conference rules and garner wide bi-partisan support for the bill, according to Mr. Wienecke.




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    BOSTON — The Terrorism Risk Insurance Act is part of the fabric of keeping the insurance market stable in case of a terrorist attack and is far from a “corporate welfare” program, as some observers have previously contended, according to speakers at the American Property Casualty Insurance Association annual meeting in Boston on Tuesday.