Terrorism Insurance Bill Protects Commercial Real Estate Market

WASHINGTON, Aug. 2 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Reauthorization of the federal government's terrorism risk insurance program will help maintain a strong commercial real estate market and the health of the nation's economy, according to the National Association of Realtors(R).

The present terrorism insurance is set to expire at the end of this year. NAR has long supported the Terrorism Risk Insurance Revision Extension Act and commended the passage of H.R. 2761 by the House Financial Services Committee on Wednesday.

"If the legislation is not implemented quickly, the potential unavailability of terrorism risk insurance would have a great impact on many commercial financing agreements and would negatively impact the commercial real estate market," said NAR President Pat V. Combs , of Grand Rapids , Mich., and vice president of Coldwell Banker-AJS-Schmidt.

H.R. 2761 would extend for 15 years the terrorism insurance program that was initiated after the September 11, 2001 , terrorist attacks; make available coverage for nuclear, biological, chemical or radiological (NBCR) attacks; require the Treasury Department to report on the terrorism insurance market every two years, including an analysis of terrorism insurance pricing impacts on commercial real estate; and establish a blue ribbon commission tasked with recommending a long-term private market solution.

"Today's vote recognizes that, since Congress enacted the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act in 2002, the essential facts have not changed," Combs said. "Terrorism continues to be an unpredictable threat. The reauthorization of TRIA will strengthen the economic security of the commercial real estate market by reducing the uncertainty of terrorism coverage availability, and by covering most conceivable forms of terrorist activity."

"NAR has worked with members of Congress to not only implement this bill, but also to include a commercial real estate professional on the blue ribbon commission. This is important to the market and to all of our commercial members because it ensures the industry a voice at the table. We are especially thankful to Congressmen Gregory Meeks (D-N.Y.) and Paul Kanjorski (D-Pa.) for their support and understanding of the importance of the commercial real estate industry and the need to find a long-term solution," Combs said.

Earlier in the year, NAR testified it believes that the "proper" long-term solution should focus on what private markets have been unwilling or unable to do. "The ideal solution must enable businesses to purchase insurance for the most catastrophic conventional terrorism risks; provide adequate insurance capacity in all major commercial real estate markets, particularly in high- risk, urban areas; and provide meaningful insurance against the so-called NBCR risks," said Combs. "We believe this bill does that."

"We stand ready to continue our push for reauthorization of TRIA and look forward to working with Congress for its quick completion," said Combs.

The National Association of Realtors(R), "The Voice for Real Estate," is America's largest trade association, representing more than 1.3 million members involved in all aspects of residential and commercial real estate industries. NAR is the leading advocate for homeownership, affordable housing and private property rights.

Information about NAR is available at http://www.realtor.org. This and other news releases are posted on the Web site's "News media" section in the NAR Media Center.

REALTOR(R) is a registered collective membership mark which may be used only by real estate professionals who are members of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS(R) and subscribe to its strict Code of Ethics. Not all real estate agents are REALTORS(R). All REALTORS(R) are members of NAR.

SOURCE National Association of Realtors