FEDERAL

JUNE 23
15 Minor League Clubs Sue Insurers Over Financial Losses Due To Pandemic

A lawsuit by more than a dozen minor league baseball clubs and business entities attached to them have filed a complaint against five insurance companies seeking to recover financial losses as part of the global pandemic. Read more here.

MAY 27
Federal PRIA Bill Officially Introduced for Biz Interruption, Event Cancellation

During a press conference on Tuesday, New York Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney officially announced the introduction of the much-anticipated Pandemic Risk Insurance Act of 2020, a federal backstop for pandemic-related business interruption insurance modeled after the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act. Read more here.

MAY 26
U.S. lawmaker wants insurers, govt. to share future pandemic business losses

U.S. legislation introduced on Tuesday would create a taxpayer-backed insurance program to protect businesses from revenue losses during future pandemics and require insurers to pay a slice of the claims. Read more here.

MAY 21
INSURANCE TRADES UNVEIL FEDERAL PANDEMIC SOLUTION
The National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies (NAMIC), the American Property Casualty Insurance Association (APCIA), and the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America, Inc. (Big “I”) today unveiled a new customer-focused proposal for a federal program tailored specifically to help businesses meet the financial challenges from future pandemics. Read more here.

Number of Federal COVID-19 Business Interruption Lawsuits at 101 and Rising
A federal court has received notice that 101 lawsuits have been filed as of Wednesday seeking coverage from insurers for business interruption losses caused by COVID-19. Read more here.

MAY 20
As America reopens, prepare for a flood of coronavirus workplace lawsuits

Legal experts say there is no existing playbook to combat lawsuits that could result from businesses reopening amid the coronavirus pandemic. Read more here.

MAY 19
COVID-19: Navigating the Path to Recovery – A Checklist of Key Insurance Considerations
Policyholders, the insurance industry, and the media have focused substantial attention on potential business interruption coverage for lost profits and revenues arising from COVID-19. Read more here.

MAY 16
Attorneys General of Oklahoma, Alabama, Alaska, Indiana, Nebraska, South Carolina, and Texas, write to President Trump to offer perspective on business interruption insurance policies in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Read the letter here.

MAY 08
U.S. Department of the Treasury
“While insurers should pay valid claims, we share your concern that these proposals fundamentally conflict with the contractual nature of insurance obligations and could introduce stability risks to the industry.” Read more here.

MAY 04
Republicans Rally Around Call for Legal Immunity for Businesses When They Reopen
The top Republicans in the U.S. Congress displayed a united front on Friday in their drive for coronavirus-related liability protections for businesses, saying such measures will be crucial to talks about future relief legislation. Read more here.

Blumenthal: Coronavirus liability shield for businesses a ‘non-starter’ in new stimulus bill talks
As the U.S. Senate returned to work this week, one issue has emerged as a roadblock in negotiations over a new, massive coronavirus stimulus bill: whether businesses should be shielded from federal lawsuits if their customers or workers contract COVID-19. Read more here.

MAY 03
White House, Congress clash over liability protections for businesses as firms weigh virus reopening plans
Congressional leaders are girding for a huge fight over the re-entry of millions of Americans to the workplace, with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., insisting that employers be shielded from liability if their workers contract the coronavirus. He appears to have the backing of top White House officials. Read more here.

APRIL 30
Push for pandemic risk insurance program gathers steam
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to unfold and wreak unprecedented havoc on global economies, the idea of a federal pandemic risk insurance program in the US has been put forward, with several sectors voicing their approval. Read more here.

APRIL 29
Insurers Promote Federal Pandemic Insurance Plan to Congress
The U.S. insurance industry is promoting the idea of an insurance plan backed by the federal government that would help businesses that in the future suffer losses from a pandemic, people familiar with the effort told Reuters. Read more here.

APRIL 22
Kudlow: Businesses shouldn’t be held liable for employees and customers getting coronavirus
White House Economic Adviser Larry Kudlow on Wednesday said that businesses should not be held responsible for employees or customers getting sick as governors move to reopen state economies. Read more here.

APRIL 13
US Congressman Pramila Jayapal of Washington State wrote a letter to nine insurance companies with questions and concerns about the denial of business interruption claims due to the coronavirus. Read that letter here.

APRIL 11
GOP senators urge Trump to protect insurers from state legislation
Seven GOP senators sent a letter to President Trump on Friday asking that he commit to protecting the insurance industry from proposals in state legislatures that would require insurance companies to retroactively cover small-business losses due to the coronavirus pandemic. Read more here.

APRIL 10
Trump: Insurance companies should pay out for pandemic claims

President Trump expressed frustration on Friday over insurance companies not paying their customers for business interruptions attributable to the coronavirus pandemic. “I would like to see the insurance companies pay if they need to pay — if it is fair,” said Trump during a coronavirus briefing at the White House on Friday. Read more here.

APRIL 07
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said Tuesday that he’ll work with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., to approve more funding by Thursday for the Paycheck Protection Program under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Read more here.

MARCH 31
Colorado Emergency Rule Expands Auto Coverage
In Colorado, the Department of Insurance has issued emergency regulations expanding commercial auto coverage to include restaurant workers who may be delivering food orders and removing restrictions on private auto policies to allow drivers to use their personal policy coverage to make deliveries for restaurants. According to the emergency rule, the purpose is: “To ensure restaurant employees are able to continue to work by using their own insured personal automobiles for commercial food delivery during the current response to COVID-19.”  A copy of emergency rule is attached. A story on the rule can be found here.

MARCH 27
Politicians Target Insurance Contracts
Government shutdowns are wreaking widespread economic havoc, and now lawmakers are desperate for cash to shore up businesses that may have no choice other than to close. Read more here. (subscription required)

MARCH 26
Coronavirus bill unanimously clears Senate
The Senate has voted 96-0 to pass a $2.2 trillion stimulus package to aid industries, small businesses and workers affected by the coronavirus pandemic. The House is scheduled to act on the bill Friday. Read more here.

MARCH 24
Senate, White House agree on $2T stimulus bill
The Trump administration and the Senate have agreed on a $2 trillion stimulus package aimed at preventing a steep recession because of the coronavirus pandemic. The package includes a $1,200 payment to Americans earning as much as $75,000 annually among other measures. Read more here.

MARCH 22
U.S. Secretary of the Treasury, Steven Mnuchin issued a memorandum identifying the financial services sector as Critical Infrastructure Sector by the Department of Homeland Security. Insurance services are listed as a part of the Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce for the financial sector. Consistent with President Donald Trump’s message that if you work in a critical infrastructure sector you have a responsibility to maintain your normal schedule, the memorandum provides guidance for State and Local officials as they work to protect their communities while ensuring continuity of critical functions. This recognition and guidance from Secretary Mnunchin comes at a crucial time when states and local governments, including some in Texas, are issuing shelter in place orders for anything other than essential services. Read the entire memorandum here.

MARCH 18
Several Members of Congress wrote a letter to the CEOs of APCIA, NAMIC, IIA, and CIAB urging, “member companies to and brokers, to make financial losses related to COVID-19  and other infectious disease-related losses part of their commercial business interruption coverage for policyholders.” Read the complete letter here.

Waters Announces Committee Plan for Comprehensive Fiscal Stimulus and Public Policy Response to Coronavirus Pandemic
Representative Maxine Waters, Chairperson of the U.S. House Committee on Financial Services announced a Comprehensive Fiscal Stimulus and Public Policy Response to the Coronavirus Pandemic. Part of the package includes the Pandemic Risk Insurance Act (PRIA) proposal  mentioned near the very end of the legislative package as part of the “Rebuilding the Economy Post-COVID-19” section. Read the complete document here.