Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Terrorism Risk Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2019 (H.R. 4634), a bill introduced by Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA), Chairwoman of the House Financial Services Committee, that provides for a seven-year reauthorization of the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act (TRIA). The bill passed the House by a vote of 385-22.
See below for Chairwoman Waters’ floor statement in support of the bill.
I am very pleased that we are considering H.R. 4634 to reauthorize the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act, or TRIA, for seven years. This is a bipartisan bill that passed unanimously out of our Committee. I would like to thank Chairwoman Maloney, Chairman Clay, and Chairman Cleaver for their efforts to bring this bill to the floor today.
I would also like to thank Ranking Member McHenry for working with me to ensure the availability of affordable terrorism risk insurance coverage across our country for small businesses, non-profit organizations, hospitals, and educational institutions, to name just a few of the entities that rely on this federal program.
The Terrorism Risk Insurance Act was enacted in the aftermath of the tragic September 11 terrorist attacks, which resulted in the largest insured losses on record from a non-natural event. Insurance and reinsurance companies reeled from the losses, and terrorism risk insurance became unavailable or extremely expensive, complicating the recovery effort due to the importance of insurance in many business transactions.
Congress passed TRIA to ensure that terrorism risk insurance coverage would remain available and affordable, and since that time, the program has been effective at doing just that. Treasury data show the program has been successful, with nearly 80 percent of all TRIA-eligible policies including terrorism risk coverage, and policyholders paying an average of only 2.5 percent of their total premiums for terrorism risk coverage. Treasury data also demonstrates that TRIA is important across America, and not just in densely populated urban areas. In fact, the take-up rate is higher in the Midwest than it is the Northeast.
This bill is supported by a broad coalition of over 300 organizations, including the American Property Casualty Insurance Association, the Reinsurance Association of America, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and the American Bankers Association.
I understand that the Senate Banking Committee is considering identical legislation this week, and I hope that we can act quickly to get this bill signed into law.
I would urge all my colleagues to support this important bill.