PIA National Opposes BI Bills, Supports Recovery Fund

PIA strenuously opposes legislation to rewrite existing business interruption (BI) insurance provisions.
April 22, 2020

PIA National released a statement announcing it strenuously opposes legislation introduced separately by Reps. Mike Thompson (D-CA) and Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA) that would empower the federal government to rewrite existing business interruption (BI) insurance provisions drafted with otherwise applicable exclusions.

“Unfortunately, these two bills would apply business interruption coverage where it doesn’t exist, exacerbating existing disruptions and further delaying our nation’s economic recovery,” said PIA National Executive Vice President & CEO Mike Becker.

BI provisions typically do not cover losses resulting from risks like the coronavirus. Retroactively rewriting contracts undermines existing contractual relationships and risks injecting new uncertainties into our current economic crisis. Such proposals purport to quickly provide assistance to businesses in need, but in reality, such a response would not help all businesses; only one in three small businesses even has business interruption coverage. As such, only a small percentage of businesses would benefit in any way from it, andthousands of small businessowners would be left struggling.

“PIA believes policymakers should pursue legislative solutions that raise up all struggling businesses, not create statutory winners and losers. Proposals that deprive about two-thirds of all small business owners of financial assistance are unacceptable,” said PIA National Vice President of Government Relations Jon Gentile.

READ: PC360: According to PIA, the proposed legislation would exacerbate existing disruptions and further delay economic recovery.

While PIA National is working against the BI proposal, we are also advocating for a solution that will help all U.S. businesses, without undermining existing insurance contracts: the creation of a COVID-19 Business and Employee Continuity and Recovery Fund within the U.S. Department of the Treasury, modeled on the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund. PIA National is working with congressional allies to develop a bill creating the Recovery Fund to be included in the next coronavirus package.

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