Senate allows terrorism insurance, NARAB legislation to die

The U.S. Senate allowed bills extending the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act (TRIA) and NARAB II legislation to die by not acting on them before its members left for Christmas break a week before the holiday.

Earlier, the U.S. House of Representatives had overwhelmingly passed an amendment in the nature of a substitute to S. 2244, the “Terrorism Risk Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2014,” which would have extended TRIA for six years, and which had included the National Association of Registered Agents and Brokers (NARAB II) agent licensing legislation that would establish a permanent NARAB.

In addition to reauthorizing the TRIA program for six years, the bill would also raise the trigger amount needed in total losses before the TRIA program kicks in from the current $100 million to $200 million, over five years, beginning in calendar year 2016. Over five years, starting Jan. 1, 2016, the mandatory recoupment would also go from $27.5 billion to $37.5 billion, increasing by $2 billion each year. For all events, the bill would raise the private industry recoupment total from the current 133% of covered losses to 140% of covered losses.

“We are profoundly disappointed in the Senate’s premature decision to leave town…without extending the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act which provides vital protection for the U.S. economy,” wrote  Robert Rusbuldt, president and CEO of The Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America (IIABA or the Big “I”).

According to Rusbuldt, the TRIA legislation had overwhelming bipartisan support in both chambers of Congress along with strong support from the White House. The House voted 417–7 on the same legislation.

“As if this weren’t bad enough, thousands of small business owners and their customers [woke up with coal in their stockings] after somehow NARAB II, agent licensing reform that has already passed both chambers in different bills, was also left on the cutting room floor,” Rusbuldt added. “We urge Congress to pass both common-sense, bipartisan pieces of legislation as soon as they convene for the 114th Congress early next year.”

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