President George W. Bush Thursday afternoon signed without comment a 2-year extension of the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act.

The bill was virtually identical to an austere version of a TRIA extension passed by the Senate the week before Thanksgiving.

Senate and House negotiators last week drafted a final bill of the TRIA extension last Friday afternoon. It was passed by the Senate Friday night and by the House Saturday evening.

The legislation will scale back the scope of TRIA’s coverage.

Group life was not included in the bill, whose aim is to protect insurers from catastrophic losses in the event of a severe terrorist attack. Under the final version, commercial auto, burglary-theft, surety, professional liability and farm owners multiple peril will no longer be covered. The negotiators did agree to include general liability, which had been left out of the original Senate bill.

Under the revised TRIA, the industry’s retention level will rise from the current 15% to 17.5% next year and 20% in 2007. The bill will also raise the program trigger from an event of $5 million in insured losses to $50 million in April and to $100 million in 2007.