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TRIA Passes

BOMA International and its partners in the Coalition to Insure Against Terrorism scored a huge win for the commercial real estate industry with the reauthorization of the federal terrorism risk insurance backstop program, known as TRIA. After the 9/11 attacks, the private insurance market failed to adequately support commercial properties in higher risk U.S. markets.  TRIA, passed by Congress during the Bush Administration, provided the necessary assurance to commercial properties that there will be adequate insurance coverage in the event of a subsequent terrorist attack.  As soon as the 114th Congress convened, both chambers made it a priority to quickly put up for vote H.R. 26, the Terrorism Risk Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2015. The Senate passed H.R. 26 by a vote of 93-4, following the House’s passage of the same legislation by an equally overwhelming majority of 416-5.

Greater Saint Paul BOMA was actively involved with the passage of TRIA.  The Government Affairs Committee tracked this legislation closely.  Joe Spartz traveled to Washington D.C. in January of 2014 to personally meet with the Minnesota Congressional Delegation on this very important issue. 

After learning of the passage of TRIA, Spartz said, “It’s great to see BOMA International’s and our hard work pay off.  TRIA is so important to the entire commercial real estate industry.  This is a really big win.” 

He also commented on how it passed.  “I was very pleased to see such strong bi-partisan support,” he said.  “We struggled last year getting enough votes, so seeing this overwhelming outcome is very satisfying.  We should also make note that the entire Minnesota Delegation voted in support, including both senators and all 8 representatives.  I also want to mention that Congressman Kline’s office has been helpful in this process.” 

The legislation extends the federal backstop for six years until December 31, 2020, gradually increasing the loss threshold that triggers federal assistance under the program from $100 million to $200 million. The 113th Congress had allowed the program to expire on December 31, 2014, despite bipartisan support for the issue. It is now headed to the president’s desk for review.

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