WASHINGTON (Dec. 9, 2020) – The National Association of Insurance Commissioners’ (NAIC) Center for Insurance Policy and Research (CIPR) designates three hours of discussion to the complexities surrounding pandemic business interruption (BI) insurance coverage during a special session held during the organization’s Fall National Meeting, December 8.
The special session titled: Pandemic Business Interruption Federal Insurance Mechanism – Learning from the Past, Thinking About the Future, provides an overview of the impact businesses of all sizes are enduring as a result of the Coronavirus, including the billions of dollars being lost collectively. NAIC representatives and subject matter experts within and outside of the industry discussed the pros and cons of how best to address pandemic BI coverage and whether or not a federal insurance mechanism could address this issue as it has in the past regarding coverage for terrorism, flood and crops.
A recent NAIC data call was conducted to understand which insurers are writing applicable coverage, the size of the market, and the extent of the exclusions and claims and losses related to COVID-19. The data collected was from 230 insurance groups who are writing BI coverage, including the top 50 commercial carriers. The data collected shows that many insurers are largely unwilling or unable to underwrite the risk of a pandemic, creating a sizeable coverage gap for American businesses and subsequent liability for the nation’s taxpayers. Solutions for addressing this coverage gap moving forward has been the subject of ongoing discussion.
The special session provided a holistic view of the evolving conversations surrounding the issue of pandemic BI insurance coverage. The session discussions included the following topics:
Panel #1 - Setting the Stage: BI Background & Federal Insurance – Flood, Crop, Terrorism – Key Lessons Learned
Panel #2 - Pandemic Business Interruption - Overview of Current Proposals
Panel #3 - The Pandemic Risk Landscape
The NAIC believes that a federal mechanism is likely necessary to adequately address the complexities surrounding pandemic BI coverage. While the NAIC does not have a position on any of the proposals presented during the special session or any other proposals addressing pandemic BI coverage at this time, the NAIC stands ready to work with regulators and lawmakers on such solutions.
The special session, in its entirety, will be posted on NAIC.org.soon.