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Rival Tria bill set for June release

A draft bill that would renew the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act (Tria) for only three years and increase the insurance industry's contribution should be released in June, its sponsor Republican Congressman Randy Neugebauer has said.

Neugebauer, chairman of the House Financial Services Commitee's subcommittee on housing and insurance, made the impromptu announcement at the start of a hearing on the legislative reform of domestic insurance.

Tria, a government reinsurance programme that requires insurers to make terrorism cover available while also providing them with a $100bn backstop, is currently set to expire on 31 December 2014.

The draft bill will rival legislation submitted to the Senate in April by Senator Charles Schumer, which proposes a seven-year extension and offers more favourable terms for the insurance industry.

Senator Schumer's bill would also alter the existing programme by increasing the amount insurers must contribute to claims above $27.5bn from 15 to 20 percent, and raise the annual aggregate retention from $27.5bn to $37.5bn.

Neugebauer circulated the draft bill earlier this month, which has been dubbed the Terrorism Risk Modernisation (Trim) Act.

It aims to limit taxpayer exposure by lowering the amount the federal government pays out for non-nuclear, biological, chemical or radiological (NBCR) events.

Neugebauer said that he had received valuable feedback from the majority of the committee on Trim, and hoped the bill would be bipartisan.

"In the very near future, we plan to make some refinements to the framework and sit down with the minority as well," said Neugebauer.

"It's our goal, hopefully sometime in June, to put out a bipartisan bill on Tria. We want to move it out of this committee and hopefully put it in the hands of leadership and let them determine when we might pass the bill on the House floor," he explained.

In response, Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, the lead Democrat co-sponsor of a House bill to reauthorise Tria for five years, said in a statement: "I welcome the opportunity to sit down with Chairman Neugebauer to discuss ways to move Tria forward as quickly as possible."

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