ALTA Supports Long-term Reauthorization of Terrorism Risk Insurance Act

October 17, 2019

ALTA joined 67 other groups in a letter urging strong support for a long-term reauthorization of the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act (TRIA) and prompt Congressional action to renew the critical program.

As part of the Coalition to Insure Against Terrorism (CIAT), the organizations thanked U.S. Rep. Chairwoman Maxine Waters (D-Calif), chair of the House Financial Services Committee, along with 27 bipartisan cosponsors, for introducing a clean, 10-year extension of TRIA (H.R.4634).

The letter states that terrorism continues to pose a clear and present danger to our nation and to the American economy. According to the Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. now faces one of the most challenging threat environments since 9/11. There is no homeland security without economic security.

“The TRIA Program has been, and remains, extremely effective in achieving its primary purpose, which was to stabilize the market following 9/11 and to ensure the continued availability of terrorism coverage for commercial policyholders in the future,” the groups wrote in the letter. “America needs a stable and reliable terrorism insurance market so that employers can invest in assets and create jobs without assuming the risk and liabilities of a terrorist attack. At almost no cost to the taxpayer, the Program has been the key factor in ensuring that the private insurance market has remained intact and continues to meet the needs of commercial policyholders during the on-going threat of a future terrorist attack—all while minimizing federal taxpayer exposure.”

The House Financial Services Committee on Oct. 16 held a hearing on TRIA reauthorization. Members of the committee voiced strong bipartisan support for continuation of the program. H.R.4634 is expected to be included in the committee’s planned markup at the end of the month. While committee-passage of a TRIA extension would provide momentum, conventional wisdom still points toward a late 2020 renewal with expiration over 14 months away on December 31, 2020. The reauthorization under discussion would be the fifth iteration of TRIA, which jumpstarted the public-private property terrorism insurance market that exists today.

In their openings, both Full Committee Ranking Member Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.) and newly-appointed Subcommittee Ranking Member Steve Stivers (R-Ohio) noted their support for TRIA. McHenry stated clearly that he has voted for reauthorization in the past and that it is an “important program that must be reauthorized.” Stivers said that as the “threat from terrorists continues to exist” the program should be continued. Unsurprisingly, Democrats voiced undivided support for TRIA through a long-term extension.

Waters stated during her question time that it is her belief that “TRIA is working as Congress intended” and “Congress should reauthorize it in a timely manner.” She is optimistic that a long-term, 10-year extension can move quickly as she believes this is “how the Senate is thinking” as well.

McHenry voiced concern that the committee was moving too quickly with a 10-year reauthorization. Specifically, he said that “kicking the can down the road for another 10 years is not the answer.” He recommended that the committee hold a series of hearings to educate members. McHenry said that he was “encouraged that [the committee] can get it right and get it done quickly” but should not have the “goal of one and done.” Rep. Hill (R-AR) agreed, stating the committee must take a “hard look” at ways to “modernize or strengthen the program.” Stivers said that the committee should “build on the program and approve it where we can.” During questioning, Rep. Stivers said that the committee should “take a little time” and “improve” on the Waters’ bill.


Contact ALTA at 202-296-3671 or communications@alta.org.

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