Congress has final say on TRIA, producer licensing

The US Senate followed in the House of Representatives today, voting to pass a renewal of the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act and establish a national producer licensing board by a vote of 93 to 4.

The bill cleared the House of Representatives yesterday with a similarly strong 416-5 vote, and will now be sent to the White House where it is expected the President will sign it into law.

The bill would extend TRIA another six years, raise the trigger for federal involvement in claims handling from $100 million to $200 million and gradually raise co-pay from 15% to 20%. It would also amend the program’s end date from Dec. 31, 2014 to Dec. 31, 2020.

Included in the legislation are provisions that would establish a permanent National Association of Registered Agents and Brokers (NARAB II), a national board meant to streamline agent licensing rather than adhere to the current, state-specific model.

Industry supporters have argued that failure to reauthorize may result in unaffordable terrorism coverage as well as rises in workers’ compensation rates for at-risk cities. Other industries, including real estate, were also predicting severe fallout from discontinuation of the program.

Groups like the American Insurance Association expressed pleasure following the vote.

“The Senate’s overwhelming bipartisan vote today following yesterday’s nearly unanimous House vote and the anticipated swift signing of H.R. 26 by the President assures the markets that the terrorism risk insurance program will remain in place protecting our nation’s economy, policyholders and taxpayers,” said AIA President and CEO Leigh Ann Pusey.

“Congress’ timely reauthorization of TRIA will preserve a well-functioning private terrorism insurance marketplace.”
by Insurance Business | Jan 08, 2015

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