Insurers scramble to avoid 9/11-style coronavirus backlash

“We all have to work together in times of crisis,” they said.

The controversy prompted state insurance regulators to issue a sharp warning on Wednesday that the insurance companies’ obligation to pay the massive number of business interruption claims would jeopardize the solvency of the insurance sector and exacerbate the economic turmoil.

Sean Kennedy, executive vice president of public affairs for the National Restaurant Association, said that the top priority for members of his group was to find a way for the federal government to help with business interruption insurance claims. The association has called for the creation of a federal government-sponsored business interruption insurance program of $ 100 billion to expedite funding for businesses.

“We will definitely be sitting around the table with our members and asking for a solution that will allow restaurant owners to take advantage of these guidelines,” said Kennedy.

In the past few days, major insurance trading associations, including the American Property Casualty Insurance Association and the Reinsurance Association of America, have started discussions with other trading groups about the design of a potential federal program that could transfer money to affected companies, possibly through the insurance industry.

An early proposal that had been spread among insurance lobbyists in the past few days included a Federal Business Interruption and Workers’ Protection Recovery Fund, modeled on the September 11 Victim Compensation Fund, that would provide support to all companies . Insurance sources said the plan would be revised.

David Sampson, president and CEO of the American Property Casualty Insurance Association, confirmed that the group “was discussing public policy options with many industry and interest groups.” He acknowledged the need for “liquidity solutions” for the business world during the crisis and said the association has not agreed on a specific proposal.

“Ideally, if they want to deliver the money quickly, they won’t put insurers in the middle,” said Jimi Grande, senior vice president of government affairs for the National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies. “But we want to be available.” help if that’s ultimately the way they go. “

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