Jurisdictional Dispute In Senate Stalls Terrorism Legislation

By Steven Brostoff

Washington

Terrorism insurance legislation that could include a study of the circumstances in which life insurers might need federal assistance appears stalled at press time in the Senate.

The issue is ensnarled in a jurisdictional dispute between the Senate Banking Committee, which has developed a draft bill, and the Senate Commerce Committee, which is working on a draft.

Representatives of the property-casualty industry say they are urging Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, D-S.D., to resolve the issue quickly so that the insurance market is not disrupted.

The Banking Committees bill includes a provision for a study on the possibility that the life insurance industry might need government assistance.

Under this provision, the study would be conducted by the Treasury Secretary, a representative of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, representatives of the insurance industry and other experts in the field of insurance.

The specific number and affiliations of the commission members is not stated. Thus far, it is uncertain whether a similar provision will appear in the Commerce Committees bill.

By contrast, the House Financial Services Committee approved language establishing a five-member commission to study the issue. The members include the Secretary, NAIC, a life insurance company representative, a reinsurance representative and a life insurance association representative.

However, sources told National Underwriter that the commission in the House bill could be expanded to seven to include the Director of Homeland Security and the Federal Reserve Board.


Reproduced from National Underwriter Life & Health/Financial Services Edition, November 19, 2001. Copyright 2001 by The National Underwriter Company in the serial publication. All rights reserved.Copyright in this article as an independent work may be held by the author.


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