President Barack Obama signed the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act law on Jan. 12. The action renews the program created in response to the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks for six years.
Congress voted the previous week to renew the Act, which expired on Dec. 31, after former Sen. Tom Coburn, R-OK, who had blocked its passage, retired.
Supporters, including the National Association of Realtors (NAR), had said that without the act, organizations that build large commercial buildings could be at risk. The program provides a federal insurance backstop for owners of skyscrapers, sports stadiums, shopping malls and other large venues that could be targets for terrorism.
“Without TRIA, many property owners with existing commercial mortgage balances that require terrorism insurance would be in technical default of their mortgage terms,” according to a statement from NAR. “The bill provides commercial property owners with sustained and affordable access to terrorism insurance, which is required by commercial mortgage-backed securities.”