Menendez Introduces Bipartisan Legislation to Extend Terrorism Risk Insurance Program for Seven Years

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Bob Menendez and several colleagues today introduced bipartisan legislation that would extend the Terrorism Risk Insurance Program for seven years. 

“Terrorists choose their targets with the goal of inflicting maximum damage,” said Sen. Menendez.  “As part of that strategy, they seek to harm our economy by targeting national landmarks, places of worship, and critical infrastructure.  New Jersey is home to all three – and that’s why terrorism risk insurance is so important to our national and economic security.”

The Terrorism Risk Insurance Program was established in response to 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.

“I’m pleased to introduce this bipartisan bill today to make sure terrorism risk insurance remains available through 2027,” Menendez added.  “In the time since TRIA’s enactment, we’ve learned that TRIA’s limited federal backstop is necessary to ensure a properly functioning private market and protect taxpayers. I’m hopeful the full Senate and the House can move as quickly as possible to pass this bill into law.”

The Terrorism Risk Insurance Act (TRIA), which was enacted by Congress in November 2002, 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.

The legislation is also co-sponsored by Sens. Tina Smith (D-Minn.), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), Martha McSally (R-Ariz.), 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.