This week, the House Financial Services Committee voted on a number of bills, including H.R. 4634, the “Terrorism Risk Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2019.” The legislation passed out of the committee by a unanimous vote of 57 to 0 with strong support from the Big “I” and other key industry stakeholders.
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.
Since its initial enactment in 2002, the Terrorism Risk Insurance Program (TRIP) has undergone three additional reauthorizations: 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.
House Financial Services Committee Chairwoman Maxine Waters (D-California), released the bill prior to a joint hearing held Oct. 16 by the House Subcommittee on Housing, Community Development and Insurance, and the Subcommittee on National Security, International Development and Monetary Policy, which was entitled “Protecting America: The Reauthorization of the Terrorism Risk Insurance Program.”
The Big “I” submitted a statement for the record discussing the importance of the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act (TRIA) and thanking Chairwoman Waters for introducing H.R. 4634 in the House.
The Big “I” believes that reauthorizing TRIA is vitally important to maintaining the stability of the commercial property-casualty insurance market. The Big “I” will continue to advocate for the program to be reauthorized well in advance of its scheduled expiration at the end of 2020.
Wyatt Stewart is Big “I” senior director of federal government affairs.