Washington

A hearing on whether the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act should be extended will be held March 3 by the Senate Banking Committee, according to industry lobbyists.

Regarding the hearing, TRIA will be the first insurance issue the committee takes up, the lobbyists say. A spokesman for the panel would not confirm or deny the date. The timing is a surprise, because a Treasury report on the utility of the program is not due until June.

Several industry lobbyists asked about the issue said no decision had been made as to who will testify, but one did say that they expected a representative of the life industry would be called upon to discuss the group life issue.

The current version of TRIA does not extend to group life, but a version passed overwhelmingly by the House Financial Services panel last September contained such a provision, and inclusion of group life insurance also has strong support in the Senate.

Questioned about the timing of House action, Joel Wood, chief federal lobbyist for the Council for Insurance Agents and Brokers, said the insurance industry “has a comfort zone” that the House Financial Services Committee “will be there to act” when called upon. Wood said he “wouldnt be surprised” to see Rep. Mike Oxley, R-Ohio, chairman of the committee, hold off on committee action in order to gauge whether action on this bill is achievable in the Senate.


Reproduced from National Underwriter Edition, January 20, 2005. Copyright 2005 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.