Senate votes to extend terrorism insurance program

The U.S. Capitol in Washington is shown in this Sept. 30, 2013, AP file photo. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci, File) Show caption
The U.S. Capitol in Washington is shown in this Sept. 30, 2013, AP file photo. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate has voted to extend a program that would cushion the blow to insurance companies in the event of a massive terrorism attack.

The program was enacted in the aftermath of Sept. 11, when insurance companies were reluctant to provide coverage for terrorism attacks. It is due to expire at the end of the year.

The Senate voted Thursday to extend the program through 2021. Under the program, the federal government pays a portion of the damages for attacks that cost more than $100 million.

The government would then recoup the money in the form of insurance industry surcharges.

The House is considering a similar bill that treats conventional and nuclear attacks differently, providing less federal help for attacks using conventional weapons.