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Hartford Chief: TRIA Must Expand

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Congress should add group life insurance to the federal terrorism reinsurance program.[@@]

Ramani Ayer, president of the Hartford Financial Services Group Inc., Hartford, made that case here Thursday at a meeting sponsored by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Ayer predicted Congress will extend the current Terrorism Risk Insurance Act program, which expires Dec. 31 and now limits protection to property-casualty insurers.

“We also need a long-term solution, but the most likely scenario is extension of the current law,” Ayer said.

“We’re not just a p-c company,” Ayer added. “Group life and disability coverage are a significant concern. Group life insurance is also something for which we expect coverage.”

Earlier this year, embattled House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, R-Texas, talked about moving to a “market-based approach” to terrorism reinsurance, rather than continuing a direct federal role in terrorism reinsurance.

“The insurance industry needs TRIA, and a continuing federal backstop,” Ayer said at the chamber event. “Absent TRIA, we are challenging our economy in ways that we shouldn’t.”