Lawmakers are talking again about the possibility of expanding the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act reinsurance program to cover group life insurance.
Failing to include group life in the TRIA program is “equal to a neutron bomb,” Rep. Sue Kelly, R-N.Y., said here today at a hearing on terrorism and insurance that was organized by 2 subcommittees of the House Financial Services Committee.
Kelly, chair of the committee’s Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, was alluding to a weapon that supposedly left buildings intact while killing the people inside the buildings.
Ed Harper, a senior vice president at Assurant Inc., New York, testified on behalf of the American Council of Life Insurers, Washington, that he was troubled by the lack of attention given at the hearing to insurance against loss of life.
“While much of today’s discussion has focused on the need for adequate terrorism insurance within the property and casualty insurance industry, it is also important to discuss how this issue affects the life insurance industry and its policyholders, particularly with regard to group life insurance,” Harper said. “We respect the need for adequate insurance for buildings, but does it make sense to insure buildings and not the people whose lives might be lost if those buildings go down as a result of a terrorist attack?”
The House included group life in its version of the TRIA extension bill in 2005, but the White House and Senate leaders kept group life out of the version that President Bush signed into law.