WASHINGTON – The National Association of Professional Insurance Agents (PIA) praised the U.S. House of Representatives for passing bipartisan legislation that extends the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act (TRIA) for six years and includes other provisions that benefit Main Street insurance agents. Following weeks of intense negotiations, the House passed the Terrorism Risk Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2014 (S. 2244) by a vote of 417-7. PIA calls on the Senate to pass the bill without delay.
“PIA commends the House’s passage of a long-term TRIA extension in which everybody wins,” said PIA National Executive Vice President & CEO Mike Becker. “Insurance consumers, professional insurance agents, businesses across the country and our national security will all be strengthened and better protected by the renewal of our nation’s terrorism insurance program.”
“Members had an important job to do and they came together and got the job done,” Becker said.
The bill provides much of what PIA has been advocating throughout the year, beginning with a long-term reauthorization of the program. While the trigger for the federal backstop in the event of a terrorist attack will be raised from the current $100 million, its level is limited to an increase of $20 million each year starting in 2016, eventually bringing it to $200 million by 2020. The bill would also raise the federal government’s mandatory recoupment from $27.5 billion to $37.5 billion in $2 billion annual increases.
“This is an excellent bill that provides the certainty that America’s businesses need,” said PIA National Director of Federal Affairs Jon Gentile. “It ensures that terrorism insurance coverage will continue to be available and affordable over the long term. We urge swift action by the Senate.”
Importantly, the bill does not include so-called bifurcation for treating nuclear, biological, chemical and radiological attacks differently from more conventional forms of attack. Notable for PIA, the bill also includes the creation of the National Association of Registered Agents and Brokers (NARAB II). The bill also mandates various studies, including an annual study of small insurer market competitiveness, to examine challenges smaller insurers face in the terrorism risk insurance marketplace.
Founded in 1931, PIA is a national trade association that represents member insurance agents and their employees who sell and service all kinds of insurance, but specialize in coverage of automobiles, homes and businesses. PIA members are Local Agents Serving Main Street AmericaSM. PIA’s web address is www.pianet.com.