DRI Calls on Congress for 2-Year Extension of TRIA

August 10, 2004

The national defense bar organization, DRI – The Voice of the Defense Bar, is calling on Congress to support a two-year extension of the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act of 2002 (TRIA).

The insurance legislation, which makes it possible for businesses to
recover from the economic impact of catastrophic terrorism losses, is set to expire on Dec. 31, 2005. TRIA is a public/private partnership between the federal government and the insurance industry created in response to the terrorist attack on 9/11.

Ronald Robinson, an attorney and Chair of DRI’s TRIA Subcommittee,
explained the critical need for an extension, noting, “9/11 taught many lessons, including that the American economy was ill-prepared for such catastrophic loss. TRIA was one solution, and businesses need it in order to make new deals and erect new buildings that create jobs. Any uncertainty about TRIA or its successor will shortly lead to a resurgence of anxiety in both our business communities and financial markets; which today rely on cover for this risk to revitalize and grow the American economy.”

Even policies set to renew in 2005 will reportedly extend beyond TRIA’s scope of coverage unless TRIA is extended briefly by Congress well before these policies assume this risk. DRI said it supports the efforts by members of Congress who have introduced legislation that would extend TRIA through 2007.

In this brief window of time, the insurance industry, business
communities, financial markets, Congress, the Treasury Department, and the Department of Homeland Security can reportedly work together to find a solution to the critical problem of how to effectively provide an appropriate, permanent and solvent terrorism risk insurance program that can be relied upon by all these stakeholders.

“The 22,000 members of DRI recognize that uncertainty about terrorism risk insurance could lead to a stop-gap in our nation’s economic recovery. We commend members of Congress, who understand the need for a timely and meaningful discussion of this issue,” DRI Executive Director John Kouris said.

DRI’s Insurance Law Committee is reportedly prepared to make a significant contribution to the discussions that must ensue on the succession issue.

Through its TRIA Subcommittee, it reportedly intends to address the complex and serious insurability and risk transfer questions that must be resolved to create whatever succeeds TRIA. The two-year extension of TRIA that DRI supports both reportedly fosters and makes possible this goal.

To this end, the TRIA Subcommittee is preparing a research database relevant to and a series of white papers that present in-depth and nonpartisan discussions on each of the insurability and
risk transfer questions that compromise the various aspects of the debate; all of which will be published in a Compendium in January of next year.

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