Federal Terrorism Insurance Program Passes Congress

After nearly 18 months of wrangling and delay, the US House of Representatives and Senate, in a rare display of bi-partisanship, sent legislation extending the Federal Terrorism Risk Insurance Program to President Obama last week.

“I applaud Congress for finally acting to reauthorize TRIA,” State Representative Michael Stinziano, a Columbus Democrat who serves on the House Insurance Committee said.  “Terrorism is a real threat and we need to maintain the programs we put in place following the attacks of September 11 to avoid paralysis in our economy.”

Stinziano and Rep Bob Hackett (R- London), Chair of the House Insurance Committee, sponsored a resolution last session that passed the Ohio House unanimously encouraging Congress to reauthorize federally provided terrorism reinsurance so that insurers can maintain stability in the insurance and reinsurance markets and continue to protect our nation’s economy, policyholders, and taxpayers.

Congress first passed TRIA after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, as a way to encourage insurers to provide coverage against losses suffered in future terrorist attacks.

In addition to reauthorizing the TRIA program for six years, the legislation (HR 26) raises the trigger amount needed in total losses before the TRIA program kicks in from the current $100 million to $200 million, over five years, beginning in calendar year 2016. Also over five years, starting Jan. 1, 2016, the mandatory recoupment rises from $27.5 billion to $37.5 billion, increasing by $2 billion each year. For all events, the bill raises the private industry recoupment total from the current 133 percent of covered losses to 140 percent of covered losses.

TRIA renewal has been widely supported by the insurance, real estate and financial industries.

“Reauthorizing TRIA helps ensure that millions of Americans will continue to have needed insurance coverage for terrorism losses at rates they can afford,” Stinziano said. “I am proud that my colleagues in the Ohio House were strong and early proponents of TRIA.  Thousands of small businesses and insurance consumers across Ohio benefit from the protections that TRIA provides.”