Marsh Terrorism Risk Report Ups the Pressure on TRIA Renewal

April 22, 2014 by Mark Hollmer

Marsh unveiled a new report warning that the cost of terrorism reinsurance will become “volatile” without the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act. It also emphasizes that the post-9/11 law has helped stabilize the market in numerous ways.

Marsh’s 2014 Terrorism Risk Insurance Report, based on a survey of close to 2,600 client companies, formed the basis of a roundtable/expert discussion at the U.S. Capitol on April 22 that helped promote its findings. But the manner in which Marsh rolled out the report reflects continuing industry efforts to keep the issue in the spotlight—and keep pressure on Congress to renew the law before it expires at the end of 2014.

A Senate bipartisan bill filed earlier in April would renew the measure but also make some changes, and it is in contention with a number of House bills.

The Marsh report has come out annually over the last four years. Underscoring its use as a lobbying tool, Marsh & McClennan Companies co-sponsored the roundtable event with the Coalition to Insure Against Terrorism, an association that represents business insurance consumers in various industries that supports TRIA’s renewal.

Among the report’s major conclusions:

Dan Glaser, president and CEO of Marsh & McLennan Companies, said in a statement that his company’s latest industry survey/report confirms that TRIA continues to serve a vital purpose.

“We believe TRIA is a model private-public partnership,” Glaser said. “There is strong, long-term demand for the insurance it backstops with more than six out of 10 companies in the [Marsh] survey purchasing coverage. The existence of the federal program plays a major part in the availability and affordability of the coverage.”

Leigh Ann Pusey, president and CEO of the American Association, said in a statement that the Marsh report helps back up earlier reports outlining how TRIA has been a vital ingredient for market stability in a post-9/11 world.

“TRIA provides the stability and certainty that enables a private terrorism risk insurance marketplace to exist,” Pusey said. “Congress should take the [Marsh] report as further evidence that TRIA is working, and should be renewed quickly on the same terms and conditions that exist today.”

Her comments follow the release of a report on April 17 from the President’s Working Group on Financial Markets, which concluded that the private market can’t provide reinsurance for terrorism at the same level currently provided by the government through TRIA. The group includes the Secretary of the Treasury, the Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, the Chair of the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.