Tester applauds Senate passage of TRIA, NARAB, and End-User

TRIA passes Senate, heads to President’s desk

(U.S. Senate) – Senator Jon Tester joined 92 other Senators to pass an important insurance bill to provide long-term certainty for Montana businesses.

The Terrorism Risk Insurance Act (TRIA) preserves the federal backstop that would help cover insurance claims in the event of a terrorist attack. The bill now moves to the President’s desk.

Tester said TRIA is critical to spurring economic growth in Montana and across the country.

“Business owners need certainty when it comes to planning against risk, and they need to know we support them even if the worst were to happen,” Tester said. “Passing TRIA stabilizes access to insurance and keeps premiums affordable, so businesses can focus on long-term planning and creating jobs.”

After the September 11, 2001 terrorist acts, many insurance companies stopped offering terrorism insurance because it was too expensive and risky. As a result, Congress passed TRIA in order to protect universities, research labs, athletic stadiums and other facilities that could be potential terrorist targets.

In Montana, terrorism insurance policies are combined with workers’ compensation coverage and are provided through Montana State Fund.

Along with TRIA, the bill also includes Tester’s bipartisan legislation to increase insurance market options and consumer choice.

Tester’s legislation creates a non-profit membership organization, the National Association of Registered Agents and Brokers (NARAB), comprised of state insurance commissioners and insurance market representatives. After passing background checks in their home states, agents and brokers can apply for NARAB membership, allowing them to sell insurance in other states.

“NARAB will create new business opportunities for small agents and brokers and will allow them to provide consumers with a better product at a lower price,” Tester said. “This bill creates competition, which is good for consumers, and it streamlines licensing requirements for businesses.”

The TRIA bill also includes Tester’s legislation that clarifies the exemption for farmers, ranchers, manufacturers and small businesses from requirements included in the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act.

“The end-user exemption will ensure that Montana farmers and ranchers can continue to effectively manage risks, provide for their families, and protect their livelihoods,” Tester said. “Smart risk management strengthens our economy, and this bill clarifies Congress’ intent to give small businesses the flexibility and certainty they need to run their businesses effectively.”