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Pandemic Risk Insurance Act introduced in US Congress

01
Jun '20
Pic: Shutterstock
Pic: Shutterstock
US Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney, a member of the House Financial Services Committee, recently joined various stakeholders to introduce the Pandemic Risk Insurance Act of 2020 (PRIA). The legislation will create the Pandemic Risk Reinsurance Programme, a system of shared public and private compensation for business interruption losses resulting from future pandemics or public health emergencies.

The act would be an important step in Congress’s prevention efforts against economic losses from future pandemics by both requiring insurance companies to offer business interruption insurance policies that cover pandemics, and creating a Pandemic Risk Reinsurance Programme to ensure that there is sufficient capacity to cover these losses and protect our economy in anticipation of a resurgence of COVID-19 and future pandemics, the Congresswoman said in a statement.

Like the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act (TRIA), the federal government would serve as a backstop to maintain marketplace stability and to share the burden alongside private industry.

“Millions of small businesses, nonprofits, mom-and-pop shops, retailers, and other businesses are being left out in cold and will never be able to financially recover from the coronavirus crisis because their businesses interruption insurance excludes pandemics,” said Maloney.

"Non-profits in New York have lost countless millions of dollars in revenue, thousands of staff, and even shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and nonprofits are consistently denied insurance claims for these losses. None of us know when this pandemic will end or when another will begin,” said Chai Jindasurat, policy director at Nonprofit New York, an association of over 1,500 non-profit organisations.

“Congress must take swift action and begin contemplating a solution to provide all businesses protection against future pandemic risks,” said Leon Buck, National Retail Federation vice president for government relations, banking and financial services.

“The development of a public-private partnership to address this risk will provide certainty for businesses and organizations of all sizes and will ensure that we can meet future pandemic events with greater resilience,” he added.

Fibre2Fashion News Desk (DS)


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