PIA Applauds House Approval of TRIA Extension

Sept. 19, 2007

WASHINGTON, Sept. 19 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The National Association of Professional Insurance Agents (PIA) today applauded the House of Representatives for approving by a vote 312-110 H.R. 2761, legislation extending and revising the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act (TRIA) for a period of 15 years.

Although the Terrorism Risk Insurance Revision and Extension Act of 2007 achieved bipartisan support in the House, its fate in the Senate is less certain and the White House has threatened a veto.

In a statement to PIA following the vote, Congressman Paul E. Kanjorski (D-PA), Chairman of the Capital Markets, Insurance, and Government Sponsored Enterprises Subcommittee of the Financial Services Committee, which has jurisdiction over the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act, said, "Extending TRIA is critical to continuing to protect our nation's economic security. This federal backstop enables insurance agents to offer policies with the protection needed to safeguard businesses across the country from terrorism. Today's House passage of H.R. 2761 moves us closer to extending that protection beyond this year."

"As Vice President of the National Conference of Insurance Legislators, our legislative organization is pleased to see the US House moving forward on the extension of TRIA," said NCOIL Vice President Rep . Brian Kennedy . "PIA has been a vocal and active participant with NCOIL in promoting a long-term extension on terrorism risk insurance that brings stability to the marketplace. With new policies and renewals coming due, it is important to gain timely Congressional passage."

"We commend the House for realizing that there is an ongoing need for a more permanent solution to insuring against terrorist attacks," said PIA National President Donna Pile . "This is not a task that the private market can handle on its own, either now or in the foreseeable future. We urge the Senate to follow the House's lead and pass a TRIA extension and we encourage President Bush not to veto this critical piece of national security legislation."

"Making terrorism insurance available to America's businesses is a vital weapon in the war on terror," Pile said. "Terrorism insurance is an important part of our nation's economic safety net because it allows insurers to manage terrorism risk in a cost effective manner. It remains difficult, if not impossible, for underwriters to accurately determine premiums based on sound actuarial calculations. Insurers are unable to accurately predict the frequency or severity of loss to effectively spread risk."

Pile added that it is important for Congress to act soon to extend TRIA past its scheduled December 31, 2007 expiration date, especially since insurance renewals for next year are already being sent out.

H.R. 2761 adds coverage for nuclear, biological, chemical and radiation (NBCR) events. Other modifications in the bill from the current legislation change the level where federal aid kicks in from the current $100 million to $50 million. This ensures that America's many regional insurance companies, vital to the success of America's insurance industry, will remain in good financial standing should terrorists again strike our homeland. The bill also extends coverage to so-called "domestic events" for the first time, meaning terrorism acts perpetrated by U.S. citizens as well as those from foreign countries would now be included and adds protection for group life insurers.

PIA supports the $50 million "trigger level" as well as the inclusion of nuclear, biological, chemical and radiological attacks (NBCR).

"Terrorism coverage is being required more and more by lenders of their commercial insurance borrowers of all sizes, on any sizable commercial loan anywhere," said PIA National President-elect Robert Page . "The need is not confined to major urban areas. Having this coverage available and affordable for small and mid-size commercial insureds--the customers of PIA agencies throughout the United States--is critical."

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 America SM. PIA's web address is www.pianet.com.

SOURCE National Association of Professional Insurance Agents

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