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House Approves Terrorism Backstop Extension

Big “I” urges speedy Senate action



WASHINGTON, D.C., September 19, 2007-The House of Representatives today passed H.R. 2761, the Terrorism Risk Insurance Revision and Extension Act of 2007 (TRIREA), legislation to extend the federal terrorism insurance backstop, which is set to expire at the end of this year.  The bill, sponsored by Rep. Michael Capuano (D-Mass.) and House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank (D-Mass.), is critical to maintaining affordable and available terrorism coverage.

“The Big ‘I’ strongly supports the continuation of a terrorism insurance backstop,” says Big “I” CEO Robert A. Rusbuldt.  “This legislation is crucial for the business customers of independent agents and brokers and for our nation’s economic security.  We thank Chairmen Frank and Kanjorski, as well as Ranking Member Bachus for working to get this done in the House in order to bring certainty to policyholders, insurers, and the insurance market as a whole.”

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 House 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.

“This is a very significant step toward extending the terrorism backstop on a long-term basis – a priority for our members,” says Charles E. Symington Jr., Big “I” senior vice president for government affairs and federal relations.  ”We applaud the House for taking action and urge the Senate to take action on extension legislation as soon as possible.”

 “Our members are pleased that the House has moved forward on this important issue and we will work with the Senate to help get extension legislation introduced and passed before the end of the year,” says Jason Spence, Big “I” assistant vice president for federal government affairs.

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.

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