The life insurance industry says it is “greatly encouraged” by the decision of two senior members of the Senate Banking Committee to include coverage of group life in their recently introduced legislation to extend the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act.
At the same time, the group life industry will not testify nor submit written testimony at the hearing on the effectiveness of the bill that will be held by the Senate Banking Committee March 3.
The legislation was introduced in the Senate Feb. 18, by Sens. Robert Bennett, R-Utah, and Chris Dodd, D-Conn.
The bill will extend TRIA for two years and establishes a public/private partnership commission to develop a transitional terrorism backstop mechanism after TRIA ends, according to officials at the American Insurance Association and the Coalition to Insure Against Terrorism, which represents commercial policyholders.
Reacting to the introduction of the bill, Jack Dolan, a spokesman for the American Council of Life Insurers, said, “We are greatly encouraged by the inclusion of group life in TRIA legislation sponsored by Sens. Dodd and Bennett and co-sponsored by several members of the Banking Committee.
“We believe we have a strong foundation of support for the inclusion of group life and therefore will continue to make our case to the Banking Committee as this process moves forward,” Dolan said.
“The committee is well aware of our desire for group life to be included in TRIA,” Dolan said. “However, in the upcoming hearing the focus will be on how the law has been working so far. Well be looking for further opportunities this year to make our case to the committee and other congressional panels.”
Ed Harper, senior vice president for public affairs and government relations at Assurant, who heads an ad-hoc group of group life underwriters lobbying for inclusion of that product in the TRIA extension, said, “I think group life will be part of the solution of whatever action Congress takes in extending TRIA.”