September 25, 2013


WASHINGTON – Today, Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee Chairman Tim Johnson (D-SD) held a hearing titled “Reauthorizing TRIA: The State of the Terrorism Risk Insurance Market.”
Below is Chairman Johnson’s statement as prepared for delivery:
“Two weeks ago, we observed the 12th anniversary of the tragic September 11th terrorist attacks on our country.  In the aftermath of the tragedy and after suffering steep losses, insurance companies stopped offering terrorism coverage as part of their commercial property policies.  This had a destabilizing impact on various parts of our economy.
“Congress responded by creating the Terrorism Risk Insurance Program to provide a narrow and targeted government backstop for this insurance coverage.  The program proved helpful, creating certainty for many businesses, including developers, construction companies, commercial lenders, as well as private insurance markets. 
“The program has since been reauthorized by Congress twice.  The last time, Congress made very few changes and extended the program for 7 years.  It is my hope that once again we will be able to find bipartisan consensus for the reauthorization of TRIA well before the program expires at the end of 2014. 
“While a few may seek dramatic changes or even try to eliminate the program, we should remember that taxpayers have not lost any money on the program. The program’s unique structure has fully protected taxpayers while promoting economic growth by preventing interruptions in insurance coverage and providing certainty for commercial property developers working on stadiums, universities, malls and other projects across the country.
“Today, we review the state of the terrorism risk insurance market, and I look forward to hearing from our witnesses about how the current program has functioned and the ongoing need for the same limited government backstop we already have in TRIA.”