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TRIA hearing due this week

The US Congress is due to discuss an extension to the federal Terrorism Risk Insurance Act (TRIA) that is scheduled to expire at the end of the year.

Congressman Paul Kanjorski of Pennsylvania, who is chairman of the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Capital Markets, Insurance, and Government Sponsored Enterprises, announced that the subcommittee would hold a hearing on 21 June to discuss the extension.

“The Capital Markets Subcommittee is holding this hearing so that members can examine a legislative solution that would extend and modify the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act,” said Kanjorski. “During the hearing, we will examine proposed legislation through which Congress can ensure the continued availability of insurance to protect against terrorism risk and options to better safeguard our nation's economic security.”

Debra Ballen, the executive vice president for public policy management with the American Insurance Association, said industry observers hope to avoid the last minute dash of the 2005 renewal debate, when Congress finally passed a two-year extension of the bill just a week prior to its scheduled expiration.

“The chairmen of the relevant committees said as early as January that they were committed to this and wanted to get it done in the spring,” Ballen said. “But, Washington being what it is and this Congress in particular having a lot of issues and a lot of divisiveness, we are now nearing the end of spring and I guess our goal is to have a bill introduced before the first day of summer.”

One major change expected to TRIA is the expansion of the requirement for insurers to “make available” coverage for nuclear, biological, chemical or radiological events.

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