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Congress to Return Sept. 8 With TRIA Renewal Looming

Congress is preparing to return Sept. 8 for an abbreviated session shortened by the impending November elections...
September 4, 2014

Congress is preparing to return Sept. 8 for an abbreviated session shortened by the impending November elections. For the insurance industry, one question is paramount: Will the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act (TRIA) be renewed?

Most observers say this question should not even have to be asked. The entire industry supports renewing TRIA. In July, the Senate passed a seven-year renewal by an overwhelming, bipartisan 93-4 vote. The hang-up is in the House, where Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) derided the Senate bill and said that it "is going to take several more months" to reauthorize the program.

"Non-renewal of the program could result in significant insurance market dislocations, with coverage less widely available, more costly and perhaps unavailable in large urban markets," noted Moody's Investors Service in a special statement in June.

What it Means to Agents: PIA has been meeting with congressional offices throughout August urging action in the House for when Congress is in session in September. Congressional staff believe the Senate bill, S. 2244, would pass the House with a combination of Republican and Democratic votes if House leadership were to bring it to the floor for a vote. However, a significant minority of the GOP caucus, Chairman Hensarling included, wants to reduce the scope of TRIA and put it on a path to elimination. A House bill that would do that, the TRIA Reform Act (H.R. 4871), lacks the votes to pass. Another part of the Republican caucus, comprised of moderates, supports the Senate bill, as do House Democrats.

Legislators Leave Insurance Issues On the Table (National Underwriter September 2014)

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