Senate Banking Committee Unanimously Passes Sens. Smith & Tillis Bipartisan Legislation to Extend Terrorism Risk Insurance Program

WASHINGTON, D.C. [11/20/2019]—Today, the Senate Banking Committee unanimously passed bipartisan legislation led by U.S. Senators Tina Smith (D-Minn.) and Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), and members of the Senate Banking Committee, that would extend the Terrorism Risk Insurance Program for seven years.

After Committee passage, Sen. Smith highlighted how the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act (TRIA) makes it possible for Minnesota to host major events, including the 2018 Super Bowl which generated more than $350 million for the state’s economy.

The Terrorism Risk Insurance Program was established in response to the scarcity of affordable insurance coverage for terrorism risk in the wake of the attacks on September 11, 2001. Since then, the program has improved the availability and affordability of terrorism risk insurance coverage in the marketplace through a public/private partnership that allows the federal government and the insurance industry to share losses in the event of a major terrorist attack. TRIA was enacted by Congress in November 2002, and ensures that adequate resources are available for businesses to recover and rebuild if they are the victims of a terrorist attack. Under TRIA, all property and casualty insurers in the U.S. are required to make terrorism coverage available.

“Thank you to my colleagues on the Senate Banking Committee for understanding that access to affordable insurance for terrorism-related risks is critical for American businesses to be able to grow and create jobs,” said Sen. Smith. “The Terrorism Risk Insurance Program needs to be extended, and unanimously passing it out of Committee with bipartisan support shows we’re all committed to doing that.” 

“I want to thank Chairman Crapo and the Senate Banking Committee for making reauthorization of the Terrorism Risk Insurance Program a priority,” said Sen. Tillis. “This important program, created in the wake of the 9/11 attacks at no cost to taxpayers, protects North Carolina’s economy and provides peace of mind to the private sector by providing insurance protections.”

The bill is supported by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Insurance Federation of Minnesota, the Coalition to Insure Against Terrorism, the Reinsurance Association of America, Prudential, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, the National Association of Realtors, the American Bankers Association and the American Property Casualty Insurance Association.

The legislation is cosponsored by Senators Martha McSally (R-Ariz.), Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), David Perdue (R-Ga.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), Catherine Cortez-Masto (D-Nev.), Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.), Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), Tim Scott (R-S.C.), Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), and Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio).

Specifically, the Terrorism Risk Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2019:

  • Reauthorizes the Terrorism Risk Insurance Program for seven years, through December 31, 2027, and preserves the taxpayer reforms included in the Terrorism Risk Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2015;
  • Directs the Treasury Department in its biennial report on the Terrorism Risk Insurance Program and its effectiveness to include an evaluation of the availability and affordability of terrorism risk insurance, including specifically for places of worship; and
  • Directs the Government Accountability Office to analyze and address, and report on, the vulnerabilities and potential costs of cyber terrorism, adequacy of coverage under the Program, and to make recommendations for future legislative changes to address evolving cyber terrorism risks.