Terrorism insurance program thrown into uncertainty

Property owners and insurers await Congressional action, vote delayed until after elections

U.S. House of Representatives
U.S. House of Representatives

The renewal of a federal program that provides a backstop for property insurers in the event of a terror attack faces fresh uncertainty after the House adjourned early without holding a vote.

The Terrorism Risk Insurance Act was passed in the wake of September 11 and provides a government subsidy for excessive expenses incurred by insurers following a terror attack. Property owners fear that if the law is not renewed, insurance premiums could skyrocket, especially in high-risk areas like New York City.

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The House sent representatives home early on Thursday, after a debate on spending to fight the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria sidelined a vote on the insurance program, GlobeSt reported. Since lawmakers will not return to Washington until after elections, lobbyists are now planning a November push to get the law renewed, according to the news site.

The Senate voted to renew the law in July, but some stakeholders worry that Republicans will water down the bill if the GOP takes the Senate in November, GlobeSt reported. The law also lost a staunch House ally when Eric Cantor was defeated in his mid-term primary in June. [GlobeSt]Tom DiChristopher