Democrats plan to include group life insurance in any efforts to extend the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act.

Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., the incoming chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, talked about group life and TRIA Wednesday during a discussion about 2007 House Financial Services Committee priorities.

“We will expand” TRIA, Frank said. “We want to cover workers’ compensation, as well as group life insurance. Not covering group life insurance is like making TRIA into the latest version of the neutron bomb. You know what the neutron bomb does? It kills people and leaves the property standing.”

The current version of TRIA excludes group life insurance and is set to expire Dec. 31, 2007.

Frank said last week that the Democrats want to move on TRIA early enough in the year to guarantee that TRIA will be extended.

The White House and some Republicans in Congress have resisted expanding TRIA or even extending it, but Democrats could extend the program for as long as 5 years and include protection for companies insuring against nuclear, chemical, biological and radiation risks, Frank said.

The Democrats now have elected Frank to be chairman of the House Financial Services Committee and Rep. John Dingell, D-Mich., to be chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

Frank is succeeding Rep. Michael Oxley, R-Ohio, who is retiring from Congress.

Some have speculated that Dingell, who was chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee in 1994, back when the committee had jurisdiction over insurance, might once again get jurisdiction over insurance.

“I believe it is unscrambling an egg, and I don’t think it is going to happen,” Frank said.