This week, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 4634, the “Terrorism Risk Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2019.” The legislation passed the House by a vote of 385-22 and the Big “I” joined other key industry stakeholders in sending a letter of support for the bill.
H.R. 4634 would provide for a seven-year reauthorization of the current program, require a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report on cyber terrorism risks and require biennial reporting by the Treasury Department to include data on places of worship.
Meanwhile, the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs marked up S. 2877, which is almost identical to the House legislation and would also reauthorize the Terrorism Risk Insurance Program for seven years. The legislation passed out of the committee by voice vote—again with strong bipartisan support.
Since its initial enactment in 2002, the Terrorism Risk Insurance Program (TRIP) has undergone three additional reauthorizations—in 2005, 2007 and 2015—with many reforms to protect taxpayers and increase private sector involvement.
The Big “I” believes the significant reforms included in the 2015 reauthorization strike the right balance between ensuring that the program remains stable and strong, while also protecting the taxpayer. Additional substantive reforms are unnecessary and could significantly restrict the efficacy of the program. There is still a real need for the program, as the threat of terrorism is still ever-present, and the unique nature of this risk has not changed. The current authorization of the program is due to expire on Dec. 31, 2020.
Reauthorizing TRIA is vitally important to maintaining the stability of the commercial property-casualty insurance market. The Big “I” is encouraged with the activity in Congress this week and will continue to advocate for the program to be reauthorized well in advance of its scheduled expiration.
Wyatt Stewart is Big “I” senior director of federal government affairs.