The effort to renew the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act, or TRIA, moved forward on June 3 as a bipartisan bill advanced out of the Senate Banking Committee with a few amendments attached intended to address some lingering concerns.
Committee members voted 22-0 to move the bill out of committee. Sen. Tim Johnson, D-S.D., the committee chairman, noted in a statement that the bill would renew TRIA for seven years but also take additional steps to address concerns about taxpayer costs. It has yet to be scheduled for a Senate floor vote, however, a spokesperson for the American Insurance Association told Carrier Management via email.
The bill, S. 2244, would reauthorize TRIA, but it also contains amendments from committee members Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass; Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla; and Sen. Mark Kirk, R-Ill.
Kirk said in a statement that the bill “represents a solid bipartisan effort to enhance protections and further shield the taxpayer from incurring significant losses during a terrorism event.”
Warren and Coburn sponsored an amendment requesting a GAO study on the viability of collecting upfront premiums from insurers. Kirk submitted an amendment that would require the U.S. Department of Treasury to adopt a timeline for certification of terrorism attacks, the AIA spokesperson said. The bipartisan bill, first released in April would, in part, implement small increases in co-pays and other measures to lessen the net cost to the U.S. government.
In a statement, AIA President and CEO Leigh Ann Pusey urged the Senate “to maintain its legislative pace on TRIA reauthorization and pass S. 2244 as soon as possible.
TRIA is a post-9/11 law designed to provide federal reinsurance coverage after a terrorist attack and it has been renewed before in 2005 and 2007. This time it is slated to expire unless Congress renews the measure by Dec. 31, 2014.
TRIA renewal legislation is not guaranteed smooth sailing. The House has considered at least three TRIA renewal bills so far. Rep. Randy Neugebauer, R-Texas, said in late May that the House will be unveiling its own bipartisan TRIA renewal bill sometime in June. He’s chairman of the Subcommittee on Housing and Insurance of the Committee on Financial Services.