The failure to renew the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act (TRIA) – first enacted in 2002, renewed in 2005 and 2007 – raises two questions: Who would have benefited from renewal, and who is harmed by non-renewal, with regards to workers’ compensation?
Workers did not benefit from TRIA. They may benefit from its non-renewal. For them, TRIA was useless.
For workers’ compensation insurers, TRIA simplified their management of risk and now they have to work harder. TRIA was, when you peel away the onion, about insurers taking care of their markets. Every other consideration appears to be secondary.
The impact of non-renewal on employers is ambiguous. Their risk management is now trickier, but they may come to see how poor a deal the federal backstop was for their employees.
TRIA mandated no expansion, clarification or revision of state workers’ compensation statutes, in coverage and process. After claim payers incurred a specified threshold of losses, the Federal Government was to begin to help fund further losses. (This is a very simplified but I think fair summary.)
Throughout the history of statute, including the legislative debates and published studies, few, if any, took the time to ask some fundamental questions:
What nature of conditions could arise from a terrorist attack?
Do workers’ compensation statutes cover these conditions?
For conditions that are covered, is there a reasonable chance that affected workers will obtain adequate benefits?