Because of the importance of terrorism insurance coverage to commercial real estate, NAR supports the continued availability and affordability of coverage made possible by the federal backstop program of the “Terrorism Risk Insurance Act of 2002” and its extensions.
The program provides stability and creates a viable insurance market, with widely available coverage and affordable premiums, at virtually no cost to taxpayers. Sustaining a viable private market for terrorism insurance depends on the federal backstop. If TRIA is allowed to expire, or when there is even a threat that it might, the terrorism insurance market in the U.S. may be disrupted (as illustrated by the lead-up months to the reauthorizations in 2005 and 2007), and terrorism insurance coverage may become both more limited and more expensive.
In the 113th Congress there were several bills introduced to reauthorize the TRIA program, and in December 2014 the House approved H.R. 4187, which was the result of a compromise between the House Financial Services Committee and the Senate Banking Committee. However the Senate failed to act on the bill before the 113th Congress was dismissed, so on December 31, 2014, the Terrorism Risk Insurance Program expired.
Despite this temporary set-back, REALTORS® continued to work closely with Congress in 2015 to swiftly reenact TRIA and provide much needed certainty to the commercial market. Leadership in the House and the Senate stated that reauthorizing TRIA was one of their immediate priorities when they reconvened for the 114th Congress, and as its first act of legislative business the House passed H.R. 26, the Terrorism Risk Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2015 by a vote of 416-5. The following day the Senate also passed the bill by a vote of 93-4, and the President signed it into law on January 12. This law reauthorizes the Terrorism Risk Insurance Program for six years, through 2020, making minimal changes to a program that has kept terrorism risk insurance affordable and available throughout the country since 2002.