Thursday, October 17, 2019

HR 4634 Introduced – TRIA Reauthorization

Last week Rep Waters (D,CA) introduced HR 4634, the Terrorism Risk Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2019. The bill is a clean, 10-year reauthorization of the TRIA program.

The bill would amend §108(a) of the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act of 2002 (15 USC 6701 note) by substituting ‘2030’ for ‘2020’ in the termination date. Extensions are also provided for the recoupment provisions of §103(e)(7)(E)(i).

Moving Forward

Waters is the Chair of the House Financial Services Committee to which this bill was assigned for consideration. The bill is currently scheduled for markup in Committee tomorrow. With three Committee Republicans on the list of cosponsors of the bill, it is almost certain that the bill will pass in Committee with substantial bipartisan support. The bill would be likely to be considered in the full House under the suspension of the rules process; limited debate, no floor amendments and a super-majority required for passage.

The last reauthorization of the TRIA program (PL 114-1) passed in both the House and the Senate with bipartisan support.


The TRIA was designed to protect insurance companies from severe financial upsets from a major, 9/11 scale terrorist attack. The idea was that without this sort of federal protection that insurance companies would be forced to write their policies with terrorism riders that would disallow policies from paying out for terrorist attacks.

The one thing that Congress ought to consider with this bill is adding language that would specifically allow the TRIA to include a cyber-attack of the same magnitude as intended for physical terrorist attacks. This could be done by modifying the following portions of §102, Definitions:

(A) CERTIFICATION.—The term ‘act of terrorism’ means any act that is certified by the Secretary, in consultation with the Secretary of Homeland Security, and the Attorney General of the United States—
(i) to be an act of terrorism;
(ii) to be a violent act, or an act that is dangerous to—
(I) human life;
(II) property; or
(III) infrastructure; or
(iii) to be a cyber threat (as defined in 6 USC 1501) that threatens and or effects a large scale disruption of:
(I) of power, fuel or water distribution;
(II) food supply;
(III) financial markets; or
(IV) healthcare; and
 (iv) to have resulted in damage within the United States, or outside of the United States in the case of—
(I) an air carrier or vessel described in paragraph (5)(B); or
(II) the premises of a United States mission; and
(v) to have been committed by an individual or individuals, as part of an effort to coerce the civilian population of the United States or to influence the policy or affect the conduct of the United States Government by coercion.

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