The House Financial Services Committee sent to the House floor on August 1 legislation extending government-subsidized terrorism risk insurance, including coverage for group life.
The vote on the bill was 49-20. Several amendments were added to the version passed by the panel’s Capital Markets Subcommittee on July 24. But, the only amendment of significance to life insurance companies was one sponsored by Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., that extended the program for 15 years, instead of the 10 years in the original bill.
The next step for the legislation is House floor action, possibly in mid-October. The Senate Banking Committee still has not acted on extension legislation. The current program expires Dec. 31.
In comments issued after the House panel voted, Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Conn., chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, said, “I commend Reps. Barney Frank and Mike Capuano, both D-Mass., [sponsors of the original legislation] and the House Financial Services Committee for their efforts.”
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He added, “I intend to continue to work with members of the Senate Banking Committee including Senator [Richard] Shelby, R-Ala., [ranking minority member] to seek a timely, expeditious and more permanent solution to ensure that TRIA’s proven economic protections are maintained, strengthened and extended.”
The legislation, H.R. 2761, the Terrorism Risk Insurance Revision and Extension Act of 2007, also includes a provision limiting use of travel destination information in underwriting life insurance policies.
The life components of the legislation were not discussed during the multi-hour debate on the bill.
The only major change in the legislation as passed by the subcommittee was an extension of the current program by 15 years. The subcommittee extension had been for 10 years. Extension of the legislation for that period is expected to draw heavy fire from the Bush administration, which opposes continuation of the current program, but would likely accept a relatively short extension. The more conservative Senate is also likely to propose a far shorter extension when its members consider the bill.