In 2002, Congress passed and President Bush signed into law the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act, a bit of federal insurance market subsidy aimed at maintaining access to sufficient insurance coverage for owners and borrowers/buyers of commercial property. Private insurers, faced with a radically expanded scale and scope of terrorism after 9/11, had been leaving the market in droves, finding it beyond their ability to quantify the risk of terrorism coverage. The destabilized market for private coverage settled down after TRIA was passed, but the jitters — and rising coverage costs — resurfaced in 2005 and 2007 when Congress debated extending TRIA, past its original expiration date.
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