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TRIA Bill Heads To House Floor

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Members of the House Financial Services Committee voted 49-20 Wednesday to send a federal terrorism reinsurance bill to the House floor.

The current Terrorism Risk Insurance Act reinsurance program excludes group life and is set to expire Dec. 31.

The bill approved today, H.R. 2761, the Terrorism Risk Insurance Revision and Extension Act of 2007, would include protection for group life.

The bill would limit the federal share of compensation paid under the program to $1 million per group life insured.

In addition to TRIA extension provisions, H.R. 2761 includes a provision limiting use of travel destination information in underwriting life insurance policies.

The full committee added an amendment, proposed by Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., that would extend the terrorism reinsurance program for 15 years. The original version of the bill would extend the program for 10 years.

The Senate Banking Committee has not yet acted on the Senate’s TRIA bill.

Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Conn., chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, praised the work of Reps. Barney Frank, D-Mass., and Mike Capuano, D-Mass., in getting H.R. 2761 through the House Financial Services Committee.

Dodd said he intends to continue to work with Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., the most senior Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, to strengthen and extend TRIA protections.

The White House opposes extension of the TRIA program, but officials there say President Bush would prefer a shorter extension to a longer extension.

The American Council of Life Insurers, Washington, welcomed House Financial Services Committee approval of H.R. 2761.

“The action by the House Financial Services Committee is an endorsement of the belief that the federal backstop in TRIA should provide adequate coverage for people and not just the buildings where they work or live,” ACLI President Frank Keating says in a statement.


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