The Roundtable Commemorates 20th Anniversary of 9-11 and TRIA’s Positive Impact

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The Real Estate Roundtable this week commemorated the 20th anniversary of the 9-11 attacks by recognizing the enduring, positive impact of the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act (TRIA) and holding a joint meeting of the organization’s Homeland Security Task Force (HSTF) and Risk Management Working Group (RMWG). 

Reflection and Action 

  • Roundtable President and CEO Jeffrey DeBoer stated, “The nation and the industry reflects during this solemn anniversary week on the profound human losses, and lessons learned, from the tragic events of September 11, 2001.”
  • DeBoer added, “We also recognize the enduring, positive impact of the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act (TRIA) to help protect the economy in the event of future attacks. The Roundtable remains proud of its efforts in the wake of 9-11 and secure TRIA renewals that extend the program until the end of 2027.  Our nation remains vigilant against terrorism threats as our industry remains steadfast in working with government agencies to combat physical and cyber-terrorist attacks.” 

9-11 Legacy: TRIA 

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  • A Sept. 7 article in Commercial Observer reported how The Real Estate Roundtable organized a coalition of business insurance policyholders – the Coalition to Insure Against Terrorism – to win passage of TRIA.  The article states, “TRIA has provided the commercial real estate industry with a crucial backstop against losses suffered from external threats in the nearly two decades since its enactment.”

  • The article quotes Roundtable Board Member Anthony Malkin, (chairman, president and CEO, Empire State Realty Trust) on the far-reaching, positive impact of TRIA on CRE, colleges, sports stadiums and hospitals.
  • Roundtable Senior Vice President Chip Rodgers is also quoted about TRIA’s vital importance for commercial real estate, since lenders require ‘all risk’ insurance coverage — including terrorism coverage — to cover the risk of loss to the collateral. (Commercial Observer, Sept 7) 

Ongoing Industry Efforts 

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  • The Roundtable’s HSTF and the Real Estate Information Sharing Analysis Center (RE-ISAC) were launched soon after 9-11 to coordinate CRE’s response to potential future attacks and share threat information.
  • The HSTF and RMWG virtual joint meeting this week featured a discussion with Peter Bergen, whose extensive background as an expert on terrorism includes years as a journalist, documentary producer, vice president for global studies & fellows at New America, and CNN national security analyst. He is currently co-director at the Center on the Future of War at Arizona State University. Mr. Bergen discussed the current threat picture facing the United States, including the ramifications of the Taliban’s return to power in Afghanistan.
  • Roundtable participants were also joined by Shane Lamond (Lieutenant, D.C. Metropolitan Police Department) who led a discussion on civil unrest threats, the proliferation of ransomware attacks and various COVID-related challenges of re-entering buildings. 

The Roundtable is also working with the Business Continuity Coalition to develop an insurance program that protects jobs by ensuring business continuity from future economic losses from pandemics and other health emergencies that necessitate widespread government mandated closures of the economy. (Roundtable Weekly, July 23) 

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House Democrats Propose Pandemic Risk Insurance Program Modeled on TRIA; Senate Attempts to Break Stalemate on β€œPhase 4” Coronavirus Relief Package

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House Financial Services Committee Democrats this week proposed a federal reinsurance program for pandemic risks as part of the next round of congressional coronavirus relief.   (HFS Committee memo)

  • An April 6 memo from the committee’s majority Democratic staff states the recently enacted CARES Act was only a down payment on the relief needed to fully address the historic negative health and economic effects of COVID-19.  For the next congressional package, the memo recommends policy proscriptions focused on both the crisis and the recovery that includes “Pandemic Risk Insurance.”
  • The draft package’s reinsurance program proposal would be “similar to the Terrorism Risk Insurance Program for pandemic risks in order to promote the availability and affordability of insurance coverage that includes pandemic risks.”
  • Whether existing business interruption insurance policies have virus and bacteria-related exclusions is a growing issue between closed businesses and their insurers.  (BGov and Insurance Insider, April 9)
  • Rep. Carolyn Maloney, (D-NY), chairwoman of the House Oversight and Reform Committee and a senior member of Financial Services Committee, circulated a letter this week informing colleagues in the House that she is “… developing the Pandemic Risk Insurance Act of 2020, to create the Pandemic Risk Reinsurance Program, a system of shared public and private compensation for business interruption losses resulting from future pandemics or public health emergencies.”
  • Rep. Maloney’s note explains, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. The Pandemic Risk Insurance Act (PRIA) would be an important step in our prevention efforts against future pandemics by both requiring insurance companies to offer business interruption insurance policies that cover pandemics, and creating a Pandemic Risk Reinsurance Program to ensure that there is sufficient capacity to cover these losses and protect our economy in the event of a future pandemic. Like the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act (TRIA), the federal government would serve as a backstop to maintain marketplace stability and to share the burden alongside private industry”
  • Rep. Maloney’s pandemic program would be prospective – not retrospective.
  • The current TRIA program would be triggered if losses from certified acts of terrorism attack exceed $200 million across all affected insurers.  The establishment of the federal terrorism backstop – and its multiple reauthorizations over the years – has been a top policy priority for The Real Estate Roundtable since the 9/11 attacks. (Roundtable TRIA webpage
  • John Doyle, president and CEO of the insurance unit of Marsh & McLennan Companies Inc., offered in a March 30 letter to Congress and the White House to help create a federal pandemic backstop.  Doyle wrote, “The basic framework of a pandemic risk insurance program would be to structure a risk sharing model between policyholders, insurers and the federal government.” 

The Roundtable is working with policymakers and stakeholders to help develop an effective pandemic risk insurance program that addresses the current crisis and provides the economy with the coverage it needs to address future pandemic risks.  

Senate Attempts to Develop a Phase 4 Coronavirus Relief Package

Senate Republicans and Democrats this week failed to reach agreement on “Phase 4” coronavirus legislation that would quickly follow and expand the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act passed on March 27.  Republicans sought more funding for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) for small businesses impacted by COVID-19, while Democrats emphasized any follow up measure to the “Phase 3” CARES Act should include increased funding for hospitals and local governments.  (Akin Gump, April 9 and Deloitte, April 10)

  • Negotiations between congressional leaders and the White House over a Phase 4 package are ongoing.  With the Senate in pro forma session on Monday, there is a chance for a deal to be reached over the weekend.
  • The Senate and House are currently scheduled to return for regular business the week of April 20.  Health concerns for Members of Congress and their staff cast doubt on when they can return to Washington to consider legislation. The only way for Congress to currently vote on and send legislation to President Trump is by using the unanimous consent process, which can be blocked by any single member.
  • Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) last month forced hundreds of his colleagues to return to the Capitol to pass the CARES Act.  He warned on April 8 that he may again block unanimous consent for a Phase 4 coronavirus bill if it is not held with a roll call vote. (The Hill, April 8)

President Trump wrote on Twitter March 31 that a larger infrastructure should be included in the next coronavirus relief bill.  “With interest rates for the United States being at ZERO, this is the time to do our decades long awaited Infrastructure Bill,” President Trump wrote. “It should be VERY BIG & BOLD, Two Trillion Dollars, and be focused solely on jobs and rebuilding the once great infrastructure of our Country! Phase 4.”

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Seven-Year TRIA Reauthorization Passed as Part of $1.4 Trillion Spending Bill

A seven-year reauthorization of the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act (TRIA) was approved this week by the House and Senate as part of a year-end funding bill (H.R. 1865).  The provision reauthorizes TRIA through 2027, a year ahead of its slated sunset date of Dec. 31, 2020. (TRIA provisions on pages 1233–1236 of the year-end funding legislation). 

The measure is part of a massive $1.4 trillion congressional spending deal to fund the government until the end of the fiscal year – Sept. 20, 2020.  President Trump is expected to sign two separate funding bills to keep the government open past midnight tonight. 

Roundtable Chair Debra Cafaro (Ventas, Inc.) stated, “The Real Estate Roundtable is pleased that TRIA will be extended until 2027.  This federal terrorism insurance backstop was enacted following 9-11 and has been extended and reformed several times since. We cannot overstate the valuable safety and liquidity that the program brings to the US economy, businesses of all manner and commercial real estate markets.”

A long-term, “clean” reauthorization of TRIA, well in advance of its expiration, has been a top policy goal of The Roundtable.  This was achieved a full year ahead of schedule.  (Roundtable background on TRIA)

In addition to TRIA, the omnibus appropriations bill (H.R. 1865) contains several other positive measures affecting real estate.  The tax and funding extensions include: 

  • The EB-5 Regional Center Program, which provides visas to foreign nationals who pool their investments in regional centers to finance U.S. economic development projects.  The program would be extended until Sept. 2020.  Department of Homeland Security (DHS) regulations that took effect in November presently govern key elements of the EB-5 program regarding investment levels and Targeted Employment Area (TEA) definitions.   
  • The National Flood Insurance Program.  Without the extension, the program’s borrowing authority would have been reduced from $30.4 billion to $1 billion. The program would also be extended until Sept. 2020.   (BGov and CQ, Dec. 20)
  • Tax measures would be extended through the end of 2020.  They include (1) the section 179D tax deduction for energy efficient commercial building property; (2) the section 25C tax credit for energy efficient improvements to principal residences; (3) the section 45L tax credit for construction of new energy efficient homes; (4) the tax exclusion for home mortgage debt forgiveness; (5) the tax deduction for mortgage insurance premiums; and (6) the New Markets Tax Credit;
  • The Brand USA program would be extended through fiscal year 2027.  Brand USA promotes travel to the U.S. through a public-private partnership that is funded through private-sector donations and funds collected from foreign visitors to the U.S.

This week also saw the House pass legislation (H.R. 5377) that would temporarily raise and then eliminate for two years the $10,000 cap on state and local tax (SALT) deductions, which would be paid for by permanently raising the top individual tax rate to 39.6%.  This “messaging” bill is unlikely to be taken up in the GOP-controlled Senate and President Trump has also threatened to veto it.

After a flurry of year-end policymaking amid impeachment proceedings, both chambers of Congress recessed today and will return in early January.

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Congress Reaches Spending Deal to Avert Shutdown; Roundtable and Business Coalition Urge Year-End TRIA Reauthorization

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A bipartisan spending deal to fund the government before a Dec. 20 deadline has been agreed to in principle, with details and a vote expected next week, according to top congressional lawmakers.  During the year-end policy rush to attach other legislation to the must-pass spending bill, The Roundtable and a diverse business coalition on Dec. 11 urged Congress to extend the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act (TRIA) for 7 years by passing S. 2877.

  • After rounds of funding negotiations between leaders of Senate and House appropriators this week, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, House Appropriations Chairwoman Nita Lowey (D-NY) on Thursday reported, “There’s a meeting of the minds.”  (Wall Street Journal, Dec. 12 and The Hill)
  • “Let me say in no uncertain terms, nobody wants to have a government shutdown,” said Sec. Mnuchin.  (Bloomberg Tax, Dec. 12)
  • Funding for the National Flood Insurance and EB-5 investor programs are currently operating under a four-week spending bill signed by President Trump on Nov. 21.  If a new round of funding is not agreed to by policymakers, the programs will shutdown on Dec. 21. (Roundtable Weekly, Nov. 22)
  • The spending agreement would avert a shutdown by spreading nearly $1.4 trillion in discretionary government spending over a dozen appropriations bills for FY2020, which ends Sept. 30, 2020.  The specific bills are likely to be unveiled Monday. (BGov, Dec. 13)
  • The contentious issue of funding for border wall along the Mexican border, which led to a 35-day government shutdown last year, is reportedly part of an agreement on immigration issues. The spending deal would provide the same funding for the border wall that Congress offered for fiscal year 2019 – $1.375 billion, instead of $5 billion requested by the White House.  (Roll Call, Dec. 12)
  • A flurry of policy developments this week may result in lawmakers agreeing to the massive funding bill, a U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade agreement and a Phase One Deal with China.

As lawmakers work to assemble the final spending package to pass by Dec. 20, several other measures – including a seven-year TRIA reauthorization and tax extenders – may compete for inclusion in the final “omnibus” bill.

Roundtable Urging TRIA Reauthorization

On Dec. 11, The Roundtable and a  diverse business coalition sent a letter to all members of the Senate urging action on the Terrorism Risk Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2019 (S. 2877) as soon as possible.  The Senate bill would extend TRIA for seven years, “allowing the program to continue providing vital economic protections against acts of terrorism that companies throughout the nation rely on,” according to the letter

  • The letter also notes, “Since its initial enactment in 2002, TRIA has served as a vital public-private risk sharing mechanism, ensuring that private terrorism risk insurance coverage remains available to commercial businesses, educational institutions and non-profit organizations at virtually no cost to the taxpayer.”
  • A seven-year TRIA reauthorization passed the House on Nov. 18 (H.R. 4634) as the Senate Banking Committee advanced a similar bill (S. 2877) on Nov. 20.  (Roundtable Weekly, Nov. 22)
  • Last week, The Roundtable and its partners in the Coalition to Insure Against Terrorism (CIAT) urged Senators to include the TRIA reauthorization in a possible year-end spending package.  (CIAT Letter, Dec. 2)
  • Roundtable President and CEO Jeffrey DeBoer commented on the importance of TRIA in a Dec. 12 Bisnow article on “5 Policy Issues That Could Affect Commercial Real Estate In 2020.”
  • “The reason it’s important is you want your assets, the property and potential damage to be covered by insurance, but you also want the people in your building to be covered by insurance if, God forbid, something happened,” DeBoer said. “If you don’t have all risk coverage on your asset, typically it’s very difficult to get financing for that asset from a bank or pension fund.”
  • “We’re optimistic we can get it done before the end of 2019,” he said. “If that does not happen, our top priority in 2020 will be to extend TRIA and maintain that Act.”  (Bisnow, Dec. 12)

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) said yesterday that a final omnibus containing the spending bill and other measures may be grouped into two packages and voted on Tuesday.  Congress is expected to adjourn for the holiday recess by Dec. 20.  (The Hill, Dec. 12) 

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House Passes Seven-Year TRIA Reauthorization; Senate Banking Committee Advances Similar Bill

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A seven-year reauthorization of the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act (TRIA) passed the House this week (H.R. 4634) as the Senate Banking Committee advanced a similar bill (S. 2877).  Both bills would reauthorize the Terrorism Risk Insurance Program (TRIP) through December 31, 2027.

  • The House passed the Terrorism Risk Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2019 (H.R. 4634) on Nov. 18 by a vote of 385–22.  The measure was previously passed unanimously (57-0) by the House Financial Services Committee on Oct. 31.  (Roundtable Weekly, Nov. 1)
  • House Financial Services Committee Chairwoman Maxine Waters (D-CA) stated on the House floor before the chamber vote, “Congress [originally] 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 also demonstrates that TRIA is important across America and not just in densely populated urban areas. In fact, they take up rate is higher in the Midwest than it is in the Northeast. I would urge all my colleagues to support this important legislation.”
  • In the Senate, a seven-year extension of the Terrorism Risk Insurance Program (TRIP) was advanced by the Banking Committee on Nov. 20.  The reauthorization bill (S. 2877) was introduced last week by Sens. Thom Tillis (R-NC) and Tina Smith (D-MN), along with 13 bipartisan cosponsors.  The bill now goes to the full Senate, which has not yet scheduled a vote.
  • Chairman Crapo commented during the markup on the importance of TRIP which is scheduled to expire at the end of 2020.  “Since its establishment in 2002, the Program has been reauthorized three different times, in 2005, 2007 and 2015.  Given the Program’s importance to our nation’s economy, regardless of region or state, and the broad bipartisan support in both the House and Senate, it makes sense for the Banking Committee to consider the Program’s reauthorization now,” Crapo said.
  • The similar approach of the House and Senate bills increases the prospect that final passage of a TRIA reauthorization may be included as part of an end-of-the-year funding bill, although prospects of that outcome are uncertain.

Roundtable Chair Debra Cafaro (Chairman and Chief Executive Offer, Ventas Inc.) commented, “The Real Estate Roundtable strongly supports a seven-year reauthorization of TRIA to ensure that terrorism risk insurance coverage will remain available and affordable .  The Roundtable will continue to work with Senate and House policymakers and with the Coalition to Insure Against Terrorism to encourage enactment of this top legislative policy priority as soon as possible to add certainty to the marketplace and reassure stakeholders across many industries who rely on the availability of terrorism insurance coverage for their businesses.  Passage will promote the creation of jobs, enable new projects to proceed, and protect state pension fund investments and lender portfolios.”

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TRIA Reauthorization Legislation: Seven-Year Extension Introduced in Senate; Vote on Similar House Bill Scheduled Next Week

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A bipartisan, seven-year TRIA reauthorization bill – the Terrorism Risk Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2019 (S. 2877) – was introduced in the Senate yesterday by Thom Tillis (R-NC) along with 15 original cosponsors – including Senate Banking Committee Chairman Mike Crapo (R-ID) and Ranking Member Sherrod Brown (D-OH).

  • The Senate bill is similar to a House measure that would reauthorize the Terrorism Risk Insurance Program through December 31, 2027. (Roundtable Weekly, Nov. 1).
  • Both bills preserve taxpayer reforms included in the Terrorism Risk Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2015 and would also :

* Align the timing of mandatory recoupment from private insurers by the federal government in the event of an act of terrorism covered by the Terrorism Risk Insurance Program with the seven-year extension of the Program;

* Direct 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

* Direct 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.

  • Roundtable Chair Debra Cafaro (Chairman and Chief Executive Offer, Ventas Inc.) said, “The Roundtable is encouraged to see such positive momentum on TRIA legislation in both chambers of Congress. We will continue to work with policymakers on both sides of the aisle to communicate how this essential long-term reauthorization contributes to economic growth; avoids disruption to real estate capital flows; and ensures businesses of all types nationwide can obtain terrorism insurance well before the program’s scheduled expiration at the end of 2020.”
  • The Senate Banking Committee will markup the bill on Wednesday, Nov. 20.  While amendments are expected to be offered, the committee is expected to approve the bill on a bi-partisan basis.
  • In the House, Majority Leader Steny Hoyer today addressed legislation that will be considered next week in a leadership colloquy on the House floor.  “Madam Speaker, we will consider several bills on suspension of the rules including H.R. 4634 – the Terrorism Risk Insurance Program Reauthorization Act – a very significant and very bipartisan bill,” Hoyer said.
  • Bills considered under suspension of rules are subject a 40-minute limit on debate; a prohibition against floor amendments; and a two-thirds vote of those present and voting for passage.

The House Financial Services Committee on October 31 passed (57-0) the Terrorism Risk Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2019 (H.R. 4634).  In addition to extending TRIA for seven years, H.R. 4634 would also require a study on the cyber terrorism market and expand an ongoing study to also determine the availability and affordability of TRIA coverage for places of worship. (Roundtable Weekly, Nov. 1).

The Roundtable expects H.R. 4634 will pass the House next week as S. 2877 advances beyond the Senate Banking Committee.

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Seven-Year TRIA Reauthorization Advanced by House Financial Services Committee

House Financial Services Committee Chairwoman Maxine Waters (D-CA)

The House Financial Services Committee yesterday unanimously (57-0) passed the Terrorism Risk Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2019 (H.R. 4634) – a “clean” seven-year extension of the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act (TRIA), which is a top policy priority of The Real Estate Roundtable. 

  • The bipartisan House compromise bill also requires two studies: a U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) study on the cyber terrorism market and a biennial Treasury reporting on the ‘availability and affordability’ of TRIA coverage for places of worship.
  • Committee Chairwoman Maxine Waters (D-CA), above, in her opening committee markup statement noted, “This bipartisan bill provides a simple long-term reauthorization of the Terrorism Risk Insurance Program. Without a reauthorization, the program would expire at the end of 2020, but we could experience the harmful effects of a failure to reauthorize as soon as January of 2020. I am very pleased that I have reached a bipartisan compromise with Ranking Member [Patrick] McHenry [R-NC] on this issue for a seven-year reauthorization of this very important program.” (Committee Markup documents and video, Oct 29)
  • The Coalition to Insure Against Terrorrism (CIAT), which includes The Real Estate Roundtable, wrote to the committee’s leadership on Tuesday in support of H.R. 4634.  (CIAT letter, Oct. 29)
  • TRIA, originally passed in 2002, has been extended in 2005, 2007 and again in 2015 – following a 12-day lapse when Congress failed to complete their work on reauthorization at the end of 2014.
  • TRIA was the focus of a discussion during The Roundtable’s Oct. 30 Fall Meeting with American Property and Casualty Insurance Association President and CEO David Sampson.  The discussion emphasized that a long-term, clean TRIA reauthorization by Congress is needed as soon as possible to avoid market dislocation and provide certainty to commercial real estate policy holders who are actively renewing their coverage. 
  • Roundtable President and CEO Jeffrey DeBoer noted during an October 1 podcast episode of Through The Noise, “Businesses and facilities of all types need to see the terrorism risk insurance program extended. This need applies to hospitals, all commercial real estate buildings, educational facilities, sports facilities, NASCAR and theme parks, and really any place where commercial facilities host large numbers of people.”

The next step toward TRIA reauthorization is a floor vote in the House, which may occur before year-end. 

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Ten-Year TRIA Reauthorization Bill Scheduled for Late-October Markup in House

TRIA Reauthorization Bill News Conference - Oct. 19, 2019

House Financial Services Committee Chairwoman Maxine Waters (D-CA) formally introduced H.R. 4634 – the Terrorism Risk Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2019 – on October 16 and stated it will be part of an October 29-30 full committee markup.  (Chairwoman Waters at podium, above).  The announcement came before a joint House subcommittee hearing, which focused on the program and a possible fourth reauthorization of the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act (TRIA).  

  • “We want to reauthorize [the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act] just as it is,” Waters told CQ Roll Call.  “We’ve got support from the Senate, that’s what the Senate wants to do. And you know it’s not easy for both sides to come together.”  (CQ, Oct. 16)
  • During the Wednesday news conference, Waters stated, “Nearly two decades after TRIA was enacted, TRIA has thankfully never been triggered, and the program is working as intended, effectively protecting our economy from the costs of a terrorist attack and providing security for many of our nation’s hospitals, stadiums, schools and small businesses.”
  • She added, “Without a reauthorization, the program would expire at the end of 2020, but we could experience the harmful effects of a failure to reauthorize as soon as January of 2020. And so, I am pleased to put forth … a bill that provides a ten-year clean reauthorization of TRIA.”  (Committee news release, Oct. 16)

  • TRIA has been extended in 2005, 2007 and again in 2015 – following a 12-day lapse when Congress failed to complete their work on reauthorization at the end of 2014.
  • A long-term, clean TRIA reauthorization is a top priority for The Real Estate Roundtable.  Before the House hearing, the Coalition to Insure Against Terrorism, which includes The Roundtable, wrote to the subcommittees’ leadership in support of H.R. 4634.  (CIAT letter, Oct. 16)
  • The Roundtable and nearly 350 companies and organizations also urged Congress on September 17 to swiftly pass a long-term TRIA reauthorization. (Roundtable Weekly, Sept. 20)
  • House Financial Services Committee Ranking Member Patrick McHenry (R-NC) stated during the Wednesday hearing that Congress should first update TRIA to address cyberterrorism risks. “We’ve had substantial changes internationally since the last reauthorization.  I want to make sure we do the right thing when it comes to cyber threats, and I don’t believe what we have currently in law is sufficient for that,” said McHenry.  (CQ, Oct. 16)
  • In the Senate, TRIA reauthorization was a focus of a June Banking Committee hearing chaired by Sen. Mike Crapo (R-ID). (Roundtable Weekly, June 21)
  • Roundtable President and CEO Jeffrey DeBoer noted during an October 1 podcast episode of “Through The Noise,”, “Businesses and facilities of all types need to see the terrorism risk insurance program extended. This need applies to hospitals, all commercial real estate buildings, educational facilities, sports facilities, NASCAR and theme parks, and really any place where commercial facilities host large numbers of people.”
  • TRIA will be the focus of an October 30 discussion during The Roundtable’s Fall Meeting with American Property and Casualty Insurance Association President and CEO David Sampson.

Chairwoman Waters stated during the news conference that after the late October committee markup of H.R. 4634, “I am committed to bringing the bill to the floor soon afterward, and I will be exploring vehicles for the bill to be attached to.”

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House Hearing on TRIA Reauthorization Announced for Oct. 16

House Financial Services Committee Chairwoman Maxine Waters (D-CA)

House Financial Services Committee Chairwoman Maxine Waters (D-CA), above,  yesterday announced an Oct. 16 subcommittee hearing that will focus on “Protecting America: The Reauthorization of the Terrorism Risk Insurance Program.”  (Committee news release, Oct. 3)

  • Additionally, Financial Services Committee Member Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) will host a roundtable discussion on the reauthorization of the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act (TRIA) on Oct. 8 in New York City.
  • With TRIA currently set to expire at the end of 2020, a long-term, clean reauthorization is a top priority for The Real Estate Roundtable.  Yesterday, TRIA was a key topic of discussion during meetings of The Roundtable’s Homeland Security Task Force and Real Estate Capital Policy Advisory Committee in New York City. 
  • TRIA was originally enacted in 2002 in response to the inability of insurance markets to predict, price and offer terrorism risk coverage to commercial policyholders.  The law was extended in 2005, 2007 and again in 2015 – following a 12-day lapse when Congress failed to complete their work on reauthorization at the end of 2014.
  • The Roundtable and nearly 350 companies and organizations urged Congress last week to swiftly pass a long-term TRIA reauthorization. (Roundtable Weekly, Sept. 20)
  • The Sept. 17 coalition letter notes, “The American business community remembers all too well the twelve-day lapse in the program in early 2015 and the disruption that lapse played in a variety of markets.  We urge Congress to help provide much needed certainty by passing a long-term reauthorization of this important program without delay.”
  • Absent TRIA, there is not sufficient insurance and reinsurance capital available to provide comprehensive terrorism coverage to U.S. insurance buyers,” the coalition states.  (Reinsurance News, Sept. 17)
  • 2019 Marsh study shows the highest “take-up” rates for terrorism risk insurance are in the education, media, financial institutions, real estate, hospitality and gaming, and health care sectors – all above 70%.

During an October 1 podcast episode of “Through The Noise,” Roundtable President and CEO Jeffrey DeBoer noted, “Businesses and facilities of all types need to see the terrorism risk insurance program extended. This need applies to hospitals, all commercial real estate buildings, educational facilities, sports facilities, NASCAR and theme parks, and really any place where commercial facilities host large numbers of people.”

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Broad Business Coalition Urges Congress to Extend Terrorism Risk Insurance Act (TRIA)

A broad business coalition urged Congress in a September 17 letter to swiftly pass a long-term reauthorization of the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act (TRIA), which is currently set to expire at the end of 2020.  Nearly 350 companies and organizations signed the letter including The Real Estate Roundtable.  (Coalition Letter 

  • TRIA was originally enacted in 2002 in response to the inability of insurance markets to predict, price and offer terrorism risk coverage to commercial policyholders.  The law was extended in 2005, 2007 and again in 2015 – following a 12-day lapse when Congress failed to complete their work on reauthorization at the end of 2014.
  • The coalition letter notes, “The American business community remembers all too well the twelve-day lapse in the program in early 2015 and the disruption that lapse played in a variety of markets.  We urge Congress to help provide much needed certainty by passing a long-term reauthorization of this important program without delay.”
     
  • The coalition emphasizes that TRIA has served as a vital public-private risk sharing mechanism, ensuring that private terrorism risk insurance coverage remains available to commercial businesses, educational institutions and non-profit organizations at virtually no cost to the taxpayer.  
  • According to a 2019 Marsh study, the education, media, financial institutions, real estate, hospitality and gaming, and health care sectors had the highest ‘take-up’ rates among the 17 industry segments surveyed – all above 70%.
  • Additionally, a 2018 Treasury Department report stated that “the Program has made terrorism risk insurance available and affordable in the United States, and the market for terrorism risk insurance has been relatively stable for the past decade.”
     
  • The letter emphasizes, “The undersigned organizations urge Congress to promptly enact a ‘clean’ long-term extension of this vital program.  Making changes to the TRIA mechanism to increase insurer retentions could affect the ability of many insurers, particularly smaller and mid-sized companies, to write risks or markets altogether, which ultimately impacts the ability of policyholders to secure adequate coverage.

Absent TRIA, there is not sufficient insurance and reinsurance capital available to provide comprehensive terrorism coverage to U.S. insurance buyers,” the coalition states.  (Reinsurance News, Sept. 17) 

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