The House Committee on Financial Services today took a major step today toward extending the federal terrorism insurance backstop by passing H.R. 2761, the Terrorism Risk Insurance Revision and Extension Act of 2007 (TRIREA).
The Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America (the Big “I”) strongly supports the bill, sponsored by Rep. Michael Capuano (D-Mass.) and House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank (D-Mass.), and today thanked the Committee for moving this important legislation forward.
“The Big ‘I’ commends Rep. Capuano and Chairman Frank for advancing this bill that will continue to keep terrorism insurance coverage both available and affordable. We also thank Ranking Member Spencer Bachus, Subcommittee Chairman Paul Kanjorski, and Subcommittee Ranking Member Deborah Pryce for their leadership on this important issue,” says Big “I” CEO Robert A. Rusbuldt. “We are encouraged by today’s action and hopeful that the program will be extended before its expiration at the end of the year, thereby bringing certainty to policyholders, insurers, and the insurance market as a whole. This legislation is crucial for the business customers of independent agents and brokers and for our nation’s economic security.”
The bill would extend the federal backstop on a long-term basis with reasonable trigger levels. In addition, it would help to ensure coverage from catastrophic terrorist attacks by including nuclear, biological, chemical and radiological (NBCR) events. The Big “I” supports a reasonable mechanism to include NBCR coverage and applauds the Committee for including provisions that recognize both customers’ need for such insurance and insurers’ difficulty in underwriting these exposures. The Big “I” also strongly supports the bill’s creation of a blue-ribbon commission to propose long-term solutions to covering terrorism risks and is pleased that the views of independent insurance agents and brokers will be represented on the commission.
“The Big “I” has consistently supported the continuation of the terrorism insurance backstop and has noted in testimony before Congress that action is needed before the program expires at the end of this year,” says Charles E. Symington Jr., Big “I” senior vice president for government affairs and federal relations. “Our members are pleased with this progress, and we look forward to working with the House leadership and Senate toward final passage in both chambers before year’s end.”
Founded in 1896, IIABA (the Big “I”) is the nation’s oldest and largest national association of independent insurance agents and brokers, representing a network of more than 300,000 agents, brokers and their employees nationally. Its members are businesses that offer customers a choice of policies from a variety of insurance companies. Independent agents and brokers offer all lines of insurance—property, casualty, life, and health—as well as employee benefit plans and retirement products. Web address: www.independentagent.com.