President Barack Obama on Jan. 12 signed legislation into law to reauthorize the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act (TRIA) through the end of 2020.
Congress adjourned in December without passing a bill to extend the TRIA program, which stalled in the Senate following the addition of an unrelated provision. The program expired at the end of 2014; however, upon returning to work on Jan. 6, the House of Representatives and Senate quickly went to work on a reauthorization bill.
The House passed the bill, the “Terrorism Risk Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2015” (H.R. 26), on Jan. 7 by a vote of by a vote of 416-5. A day later, the Senate voted 93-4 in favor of passing the bill.
TRIA was first signed into law in 2002 when reinsurers and primary insurers exited the market for terrorism risk coverage after paying out more than $30 billion in claims following the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The absence of this coverage stalled business activity and resulted in massive job losses. TRIA’s federal backstop enabled the private insurance market to function again, restoring the availability of terrorism risk insurance at no cost to taxpayers. TRIA was previously reauthorized twice.