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PIA Lauds Congressional Passage of TRIA Renewal

WASHINGTON, December 17, 2005 - The National Association of Professional Insurance Agents today congratulated the House and Senate for passing a two-year extension...
December 17, 2005

Bill Addresses Immediate Concerns, Falls Short of What Will Be Needed

WASHINGTON, December 17, 2005  - The National Association of Professional Insurance Agents today congratulated the House and Senate for passing a two-year extension of the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act (TRIA), while expressing concern that the bill that was passed falls short of what will be needed.

"PIA is very pleased that Congress renewed TRIA," said PIA Executive Vice President & CEO Len Brevik. "Passage of this legislation is good news for businesses across the country, for insurance agents, for our economy and for America. We encourage the President to sign the bill without delay."

"At the same time, we share some of the concerns expressed by House Financial Services Committee Chairman Michael Oxley that the bill that was passed falls short of what was needed in some key aspects," Brevik said.

As the Senate on Friday December 16 prepared to pass a compromise TRIA renewal bill agreed to during informal discussions to reconcile differing versions passed in the House and the Senate, Oxley issued a statement supporting the fact that TRIA would be renewed, but criticizing the final bill as "short-sighted."

Oxley said in his statement "important reforms in the House legislation that would have helped the insurance industry to eventually assume all terrorism risk have been left behind, again at the recommendation of the Senate and the Administration. In this short-sighted legislation, we have missed a golden opportunity to frame the TRIA program more effectively and to move to a more market-based solution."

"When Members, inevitably, are asked again to renew this 'temporary' program, they will correctly conclude that in 2005 the can was simply kicked down the road without any real reform," Oxley said.

A provision in the House bill calling for the establishment of a public-private commission to come up with long-term solutions for insuring against terrorist attacks was stripped from the final version of the bill. Instead, a "President's Working Group" will be appointed to make recommendations. PIA actively lobbied for the inclusion of the public-private commission.

In the closing days of the campaign to secure an extension of TRIA, PIA joined with the American Insurance Association (AIA) and the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America in an advertising campaign supporting the renewal effort.

"This is a victory for grassroots involvement on the part of insurance agents across the nation," Brevik said. "At times during the campaign to renew TRIA, there was real doubt about whether Congress would extend it. That's why it was so imperative that Congress and the White House continued to hear directly from independent agents about why the continued availability of affordable coverage was such an important issue to their insurance clients."

Founded in 1931, PIA is a national trade association which represents member insurance agents and their employees who sell and service all kinds of insurance, but specialize in coverage of automobiles, homes and businesses. PIA will celebrate its 75th anniversary in 2006.