On Monday, November 18th, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 4634, the “Terrorism Risk Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2019,” by a vote of 385-22. This bipartisan bill, introduced by Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) would reauthorize the Terrorism Risk Insurance Program (TRIP) for seven years. The bill did not make changes to the structure of TRIP, but does include a requirement for a study on cyberterrorism, an emerging threat.
Following that, on Wednesday, November 20th, the Senate Banking Committee approved its companion bill, S. 2877, sponsored by Sens. Thom Tillis (R-NC) and Tina Smith (D-MN), by unanimous voice vote. This bill also reauthorizes the program for seven years. Its passage out of committee clears the path for it to move ahead in the Senate, a very positive step over a year out from the current program's expiration.
TRIP provides a government backstop for insured losses as the result of a terrorist attack, and since its original passage in 2002 has allowed private insurers to keep terrorism coverage affordable and available in the U.S. Terrorism insurance is often a necessity for commercial real estate to get financing, and provides stability to the commercial real estate sector and the economy. The legislation is expected to be voted on by the full House in the near future. The current TRIP will expire at the end of 2020 unless Congress reauthorizes it.
NAR sent a letter of support for the bill to the Senate Banking Committee members, stressing its importance to commercial real estate and the economy. NAR is a Steering Committee member of the Coalition to Insure Against Terrorism (CIAT), comprised of industry stakeholders who are committed to ensuring TRIP's reauthorization before the end of 2020.