Washington – President Bush gave his imprimatur to the Terrorism Risk Insurance Program Reauthorization and Extension Act of 2007.

Despite efforts in both houses to widen the scope of the program, the seven-year extension is virtually identical to the original act and its subsequent two-year extension. Lawmakers had sought to include coverage for attacks involving nuclear, chemical, biological and radiological weapons, as well as coverage for life insurance in the legislation only to see the provisions beaten back as the deadline for the extension approached and the threat of a veto hung in the air.

In a statement, the American Council of Life Insurers acknowledged, “even though the public policy arguments for including group life in TRIA are compelling, we understood that this would be an uphill battle in the face of the veto threat from the administration.”

Nonetheless, many are praising the signing of the legislation.

“Reauthorization of this program was essential to maintaining our nation’s economic security,” says Marc Racicot, president of the American Insurance Association. “The seven-year extension included in this bill will help remove the risk, uncertainty and instability in the market and will foster long-term investment and economic growth.”

“This seven-year extension brings unprecedented certainty and stability to the terrorism insurance market, and keeps in place an extremely successful and important public/private partnership that helps commercial insurance buyers and the entire economy protect themselves from the financial devastation of a future terrorist attack,” says Joseph Annotti, senior VP of the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America.

Sources: PCI, AIA, ACLI, INN archives

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