Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, a senior member of the House Financial Services Committee, has joined with various stakeholders to introduce the Pandemic Risk Insurance Act of 2020 (PRIA). This legislation will create the Pandemic Risk Reinsurance Program, a system of shared public and private compensation for business interruption losses resulting from future pandemics or public health emergencies.
The PRIA represents 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 Program 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.
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, non-profits, 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 congresswoman Maloney.
“We cannot allow this to happen again. These employers and their employees need to know that they will be protected from future pandemics, which is why I am introducing the Pandemic Risk Insurance Act.”