Members of the House Financial Services Committee capital markets subcommittee voted 24-19 today to approve H.R. 2761, the Terrorism Risk Insurance Revision and Extension Act of 2007.
The current Terrorism Risk Insurance Act is set to expire at the end of the year, and it specifically excludes protection for group life insurers.
In addition to including group life in the TRIA program, H.R. 2761 would extend the current program for 10 years and add coverage against domestic terrorism as well as against nuclear, chemical, biological and radiological attacks.
The bill would limit use of travel destination information in underwriting life insurance policies.
The full House Financial Services Committee expects to review H.R. 2761 July 31st.
The Senate Banking Committee may review another TRIA bill Aug. 1st.
Some are speculating that a TRIA bill may not reach the House or Senate floor until early December.
The subcommittee review of H.R. 2761 took many hours, but most of the debate concerned property-casualty provisions.
The bill would limit the federal share of compensation paid under the program to any one individual under a group life program to $1 million in any year. Under the program, the initial deductibles would be reduced under language in a manager’s amendment to 3.5%.
The travel underwriting provision would limit use of travel destination as a criterion for underwriting to travel to be conducted during the first year in which the policy would be in effect.
The provision also would prohibit practices such as charging extra for insureds who intend to travel to certain destinations, except when the federal government has ruled such travel dangerous because of an invasion, health risks or other significant risks.
The American Council of Life Insurers, Washington, has issued a statement praising the capital markets subcommittee for approving H.R. 2761.
“The need for this legislation is clear,” ACLI President Frank Keating says. “Group life insurance is a critical employee benefit. Adding group life insurance to the TRIA program will help ensure that group life insurers will have the capacity to meet their commitments in the event of a catastrophic terrorist attack.”