In the aftermath of the September terrorist attacks, most major insurance firms have refused to provide insurance coverage for future losses due to terrorism. This has generated support from the business community and construction associations to establish a federal safety net to encourage the property and casualty insurance industry to continue offering coverage for future acts of terrorism in both the House and Senate. While the House and Senate have differing versions moving, both with varying points of controversy, as of December most agreed that something must pass by the end of the session. All proposals would provide a federal reinsurance partnership and co-payment of damage claims over a set amount for a period of short duration, such as three to five years.

On November 29, the House passed its version (HR 3210) and the Senate continues to negotiate with the White House on a bill that can quickly be reconciled with the House and get the President’s signature as soon as possible. Strong disagreements remain in both parties, especially over whether to protect corporations and insurance companies from lawsuits over inadequate safeguards against terrorism. Senate action is expected in the first two weeks of December with a quick conference to follow. SMACNA has joined others in the construction industry to urge Congress to act as soon as possible on this pressing matter of importance to construction and business in general.

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