Momentum Building to Continue Federal Terrorism Insurance Backstop

March 9, 2005

The introduction of terrorism reinsurance legislation by a group of House Democrats shows that congressional members want to put significant bipartisan energy into protecting the U.S. economy against catastrophic terrorism, the American Insurance Association said Wednesday.

This proposal, H.R. 1153, would keep a federal terrorism reinsurance backstop in place while long-term solutions to the many financial challenges associated with catastrophic terror attacks are forged.

“Policyholders, insurers and many on Capitol Hill know that we need something after Dec. 31—the end date for the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act of 2002 (TRIA),” said Leigh Ann Pusey, AIA’s senior vice president of government affairs. “This momentum toward the commonly held goal of providing for a federal terrorism risk insurance program is welcome.”

TRIA is a three-year, public-private risk sharing mechanism that has enabled the commercial insurance marketplace to function even though the very real threat of further catastrophic terrorism remains.
“We’re trying to be as constructive as possible,” Pusey said. “Ensuring a terrorism backstop is in place provides the economic stability needed so stakeholders may focus on working with the House and Senate to construct a long-term bipartisan solution.”

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