Senators were preparing today to introduce a bill that would add group life insurers to the federal terrorism reinsurance program.[@@]
The bill is being drafted by staff members for Sens. Robert Bennett, R-Utah, and Chris Dodd, D-Conn. Dodd and his staff negotiated far into the night directly with the White House in November 2002. Their work led to the enactment of the current version of the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act.
Sens. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., and Jim Bunning, R-Ky., also are providing strong support for the new TRIA bill.
According to officials at the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America, Des Plaines, Ill., the bill contains several improvements over the original legislation, including language that specifies that group life insurers will be covered to the same extent as property-casualty insurance writers.
The current law gives the U.S. Treasury Department authority to include group life insurers in the TRIA program. So far, the department has refused to do so, citing reports that indicate that group life insurance is readily available.