PIA National has been working with our industry colleagues on a proactive solution for the many businesses struggling due to the coronavirus pandemic. To that end, we have worked with over 100 business and insurance groups on a proactive solution for those affected by mandatory closures, quarantines, and other measures intended to slow the spread of the virus: the creation of a COVID-19 Recovery Fund (Recovery Fund).
PIA National is proud to be a member of this important coalition, which officially launched today with a letter to Congressional leadership. We hope the Recovery Fund will ensure businesses are provided necessary relief during this difficult time.
The Recovery Fund would be housed within the U.S. Department of Treasury and facilitate the distribution of federal funds to affected businesses and their employees. The requested relief would be designed to help businesses retain and rehire employees, maintain worker benefits, and meet operating expense obligations. Insurance agents would be able to aid their clients in the Recovery Fund application process but would not be required to do so.
This proposal stands in stark contrast to proposals to retroactively rewrite business interruption (BI) provisions in existing contracts, which PIA National strongly opposes. Such proposals would not help all small businesses; only about 33% of small businesses even has business interruption coverage. As such, only a small percentage of businesses would benefit from these proposals, and thousands of businessowners would be left struggling. Opposition to retroactive BI proposals also continues to build in Congress, as just last week U.S. House Financial Services Insurance Subcommittee Chairman Rep. William Lacy Clay (D-MO) and Ranking Member Steve Stivers (R-OH) sent a letter to the White House highlighting their bipartisan concerns.
Legislation is currently being drafted to create the COVID-19 Recovery Fund, but a bill has not yet been introduced. In the meantime, PIA National has issued this action alert for PIA members to send to Congress and urge them to support the creation of a COVID-19 Recovery Fund. Please take action today!