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Higher Education Associations Call on Congress to Reauthorize TRIA

May 1, 2014

The Terrorism Risk Insurance Act (TRIA) is scheduled to expire in December 2014. In light of this deadline, NACUBO, together with the American Council on Education (ACE) and eight other associations representing colleges and universities, wrote to congressional leaders on April 24 in support of reauthorization of TRIA, the federal reinsurance backstop program that allows a public-private risk sharing structure.

The letter, sent to the leaders of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, & Urban Affairs and the House Committee on Financial Services states, "A fine example of public-private partnership, the Terrorism Risk Insurance Program provides a national plan enabling colleges and universities to responsibly manage their risk. Without TRIA reauthorization, colleges and universities would most likely not be able to obtain adequate, reasonably priced insurance covering such events."

Last fall, Janice M. Abraham, president and CEO of United Educators (UE) testified before the House committee in a hearing on TRIA and urged Congress to act. In her testimony, Abraham underscored the importance of the program for colleges and universities and suggested without it, "Many of the colleges and universities we insure will be shut out of the terrorism insurance market because reinsurers will not be willing to provide reinsurance without the capping of liability provided by the federal plan. UE could not responsibly provide coverage knowing that our balance sheet could be hit by a coordinated terrorist attack at multiple schools resulting in claims from multiple policyholders."

Some members of Congress have asserted that private insurers could take on the risk without added federal support and others are examining whether the program needs to be restructured. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has been leading an effort urging Congress to reauthorize the program in a timely manner. 


Liz Clark
Senior Director, Federal Affairs