House Committee votes to re-authorise Tria programme

The US House Financial Services Committee (FSC) has passed an amended bill that would reauthorise funding for the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act (Tria) programme. 

The legislation, which was introduced by California congresswoman Maxine Waters, provides the programme with funding for the next seven years. 

In a statement on Thursday, American Property Casualty Insurance Association (APCIA) senior vice-president Nat Wienecke praised the lawmakers and called for the US House of Representatives to pass the bill quickly. 

“The risk of terrorism is still very real, and the Tria programme is still needed to promote economic stability both before and after an attack. We urge the full House to take up and pass this bill quickly,” he said. 

Insurance broking trade body the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America (IIABA_ also called for the amended bill to be ratified “well in advance of the programme’s scheduled expiration”. 

“This legislation is vitally important to maintaining the strength of the commercial property casualty insurance market and would provide much needed stability to the U.S economy,” said IIABA senior director of federal government affairs Wyatt Stewart. 

The re-authorisation bill includes a requirement for the US Government Accountability Office to report on cyber terrorism risks and mandate biennial Treasury reporting that includes disaggregated data on places of worship. 

Giving evidence before two congressional hearings earlier this month, senior industry leaders including Marsh CEO John Doyle faced questions about exposure to terrorism risk faced by religious and community buildings such as churches. 

The FSC’s passing of the re-authorisation bill is the latest stage in a tumultuous 17-year political debate over the scheme since its first introduction in 2002. 

The act was signed into law in 2002, creating a “backstop” for insurance claims related to terrorist attacks. It was renewed in 2015 for a five-year term. 

The definition of terrorism in the act includes foreign and domestic terrorism. 

Earlier this year, AM Best said that some P&C with a heavy dependence on the programme could face downgrades if its re-authorisation was not successful. 

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