July 02, 2005

Treasury Assesses TRIA: Revisions, Limits Needed

Treasury Releases Report on Terrorism Risk Insurance Act of 2002

From the letter of transmittal to Rep. Oxley:

"The attached report, based in part on surveys of the insurers and policyholders that were developed after extensive consultations with the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, policyholders, the insurance industry, and other experts in the insurance field, evaluates the effectiveness of TRIA in the context of the purpose of the legislation. The report finds that TRIA has achieved its goals of supporting the industry during a transitional period and stabilizing the private insurance market."
* * *
"It is our view that continuation of the program in its current form is likely to hinder the further development of the insurance market by crowding out innovation and capacity building. Consistent with its original purpose as a temporary program scheduled to end on December 31, 2005, and the need to encourage further development of the private market, the Administration opposes extension of TRIA in its current form."

"Any extension of the program should recognize several key principles, including the temporary nature of the program, the rapid expansion of private market development (particularly for insurers and reinsurers to grow capacity), and the need to significantly reduce taxpayer exposure. The Administration would accept an extension only if it includes a significant increase to $500 million of the event size that triggers coverage, increases the dollar deductibles and percentage co-payments, and eliminates from the program certain lines of insurance, such as Commercial Auto, General Liability, and other smaller lines, that are far less subject to aggregation risks and should be left to the private market."

"It is also important to keep in mind that the program would cover damages awarded in litigation against policyholders following a terrorist attack. Current litigation rules would allow unscrupulous trial lawyers to profit from a terrorist attack and would expose the American taxpayer to excessive and inappropriate costs. The Administration supports reasonable reforms to ensure that injured plaintiffs can recover against negligent defendants, but that no person is able to exploit the litigation system."

Assessment: Terrorism Risk Insurance Act of 2002 (PDF - 142 pages)


Posted by dougsimpson at July 2, 2005 07:05 PM