Compromise On Group Life In Terrorism Bill Is Welcome
While not perfect, the compromise on group life insurance contained in the terrorism insurance legislative agreement is probably the best anyone could have expected.
The compromise mandates a study of the need for a federal backstop covering group life insurance. Depending on the results of the study, the Secretary of the Treasury is authorized to extend federal assistance to the group life business without the need for another vote in Congress.
This falls short of what advocates of including group life wanted, and it obviously leaves a gaping hole in the market if an attack occurs between now and the time that Treasury completes its study.
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Nonetheless, including group life insurance in the legislation directly was always a long shot, so this outcome is not too bad, all things considered.
For one thing, the effort to include group life in the bill got off to a late start. Initially, the life insurance industry asked only for a study of the impact of another major terrorist attack on the industry.
The industry, as a whole, was not even asking Congress to vest authority in the Treasury Secretary to include life insurance under the program.
Both the House bill, H.R. 3210, and the Senate bill, S. 2600, contained such a provision and that seemed to be the end of the matter.