The U.S. House Financial Services Committee approved a Terrorism Risk Insurance Act reauthorization bill today after agreeing to add group life to the program.[@@]
The bill, H.R. 4634, would extend the TRIA safety net program for 2 years, until Dec. 31, 2007.
The American Council of Life Insurers, Washington, is praising the decision to add group life to TRIA.
“ACLI has long argued that TRIA is seriously flawed because of its failure to cover the lives of people,” ACLI President Frank Keating says in a statement. “It is sound policy to make sure insurers can offer coverage for bricks and mortar, but it would be even sounder public policy to make sure American workers’ lives are protected in TRIA as well.”
The Financial Services Committee’s actions on the TRIA reauthorization bill show that it understands the risk millions of workers could face as a result of lack of access to reasonably priced catastrophe reinsurance for acts of terrorism, Keating says.
“By reauthorizing TRIA with group life, Congress will provide a mechanism for calming life insurance markets should another attack occur,” Keating says. “If no attack occurs, there will be no expense to government or industry. If an attack does occur, group life will be covered by the terrorism risk insurance pool and insurers will be able to maintain protections for American workers and their families, most of whom are covered by group life insurance plans.”
Philmore Anderson, a spokesman for the Group Life Coalition, which represents insurers that sell group life, applauded the committee’s success at adding group life to TRIA. He says the coalition will work to get the bill moved quickly through Congress.