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WASHINGTON, DC-In a letter to the leaders of the US House of Representatives and the US Senate, officials of the National Conference of State Legislatures implore members to pass an extension of the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act of 2002. TRIA has a Dec. 31 expiration date.

The short-term extension, NCSL says, will allow lawmakers to develop a long-term solution to address the issues for which TRIA was originally put in place. In response to the economic devastation caused by the September 11, 2001 terror attacks, lawmakers signed TRIA into law to provide a temporary federal reinsurance to cover insurance payouts for damaged properties in the event of other terror attacks.

“TRIA provides a temporary federal ‘backstop’ to ensure the widespread availability and affordability of terrorism insurance while preserving state insurance regulation and consumer protection,” NCSL members write in the letter. “The pending expiration of TRIA threatens a major drag on our economy in the new year. Many construction projects and economic enterprises are likely to slow or stall, especially in high risk areas, and the added uncertainty could further endanger production and drive up costs in already volatile energy markets.”

Additionally, NCSL called on Congress to sign off on an extension of TRIA as is and without the institution of hotly debated new terms. The group notes that such a move would allow for time to research and craft a more suitable, market-based replacement for TRIA.

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