WASHINGTON, Jan. 8, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The National Association of Professional Insurance Agents (PIA) praised the U.S. Senate for passing bipartisan legislation [H.R. 26] that extends the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act (TRIA) for six years. Action by the Senate followed by one day passage in the House.
"The message is clear: America will remain insured against acts of terrorism," said PIA National Executive Vice President and CEO Mike Becker. "PIA commends Congress for its strong leadership in taking this vital action to ensure that America's businesses will remain protected from financial devastation in the event of terrorist attacks."
"PIA is very pleased that the leadership of the new Congress made this its first priority upon convening," Becker said. "The overwhelming votes in both the House and the Senate demonstrate that when it comes to protecting the citizens of the United States against terrorism, there is no partisanship on Capitol Hill. We are hopeful that this forging of bipartisan consensus will serve as a template for dealing with other insurance issues going forward."
Approval by the Senate by a vote of 93-4 came just one day after the U.S. House of Representatives passed the bipartisan bill on a near-unanimous vote of 416-5. The bill also includes a provision that benefits Main Street insurance agents, the National Association of Registered Agents and Brokers (NARAB II). President Obama is expected to sign H.R. 26 into law shortly.
Despite widespread support, passage of the six-year reauthorization of TRIA hit a roadblock in December 2014 when one retiring senator who was opposed to the inclusion of NARAB II placed a hold on the legislation, preventing a vote.
"This is a victory for consumers, businesses, the American economy and our national security," said PIA National Director of Federal Affairs Jon Gentile. "It is an example of legislation in which everybody truly wins."
"Renewal of the terrorism risk insurance program was a top legislative priority of PIA, because the customers of Main Street insurance agents need the certainty that it provides," Gentile said. "It is an example of what we all can achieve when we work together toward a common goal."
Notable for PIA, the bill also includes the creation of NARAB II, an independent, non-government, non-profit membership organization based in Washington, D.C. designed to facilitate multi-state producer licensing. PIA supports NARAB II. "NARAB will provide agents with a streamlined multi-state licensing process, while protecting states' rights and the independent agency system," said Gentile.
PIA cautions that in accordance with how the legislation is written, the Federal Insurance Office (FIO) should have no role whatsoever in the implementation of NARAB II.
Founded in 1931, PIA is a national trade association that represents member insurance agents and their employees who sell and service all kinds of insurance, but specialize in coverage of automobiles, homes and businesses. PIA members are Local Agents Serving Main Street AmericaSM. PIA's web address is www.pianet.com.
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SOURCE National Association of Professional Insurance Agents