WASHINGTON, DC-The three-year anniversary of the September 11 attacks will soon be upon us, and the continuing, if not mounting, threat of terrorist attacks make it imperative that the government renew the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act beyond the scheduled expiration date of December 31, 2005, say members of multi-industry organization the Coalition to Insure Against Terrorism. The legislation, signed into law in November 2002, put in place a federal backstop measure that calls for the government to cover payouts beyond a $100 billion of insurers’ liability.

TRIA only covers foreign terrorist attacks on properties, not claims resulting from domestic terror acts. CIAT is asking for a two-year extension.

“We believe that Congress should enact that extension now, this year, to ensure that everyone who needs coverage can buy it. “Marriott Corp. president and CEO Christopher J. Nassetta said in testimony today before the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs. “Only this will avoid gaps in availability during the 2004-2005 insurance renewal season. Any uncertainty during the coming year could impair economic activity–especially new commercial construction–and job growth, as clearly occurred between 9/11 and November 2002 when TRIA was enacted.” Marriott is a CIAT member and Nassetta was speaking on behalf of the organization.

Some organizations, such as the Consumer Federation of America, say TRIA should be allowed to expire because the insurance industry can afford to cover payouts for claims from terrorist attacks.

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