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Courtney Helps Introduce Legislation to Protect American Small Businesses Against Future Pandemics

May 27, 2020
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Yesterday, Congressman Joe Courtney (CT-02) joined Rep. Carolyn Maloney (NY-12) and other lawmakers in introducing the Pandemic Risk Insurance Act of 2020 (PRIA) (H.R. 7011). The bill would 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 Pandemic Risk Insurance Act is an important step in Congress’s prevention efforts against economic losses from future pandemics. PRIA would require insurance companies to offer business interruption insurance policies that cover pandemics, and it would create 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, or in the event of 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

“We’ve got thousands of small employers, non-profits, mom-and-pop stores, manufacturers and other small businesses in eastern Connecticut who are facing permanent financial damage from COVID-19 because their business interruption insurance fails to cover losses and closure due to the COVID-19 pandemics,” said Congressman Courtney. “The coronavirus crisis has blatantly exposed the need for pandemic risk insurance, a backstop to help protect the small businesses and jobs that employ nearly 50 percent of all working Americans. PRIA would help protect eastern Connecticut small businesses and workers from future pandemics – we cannot allow this to happen again.”

For a section-by-section summary of the Pandemic Risk Insurance Act, click here.

H.R. 7011 has been endorsed stakeholders including the National Retail Federation, Retail Industry Leaders Association, the National Travel Association, The Council of Insurance Agents & Brokers, The Travel Technology Association, the National Multifamily Housing Council, International Council of Shopping Centers, National Apartment Association, International Franchise Association, the Risk Management Society, CCIM Institute, Association of Woodworking and Furnishing Suppliers, Association of Marina Industries, School Social Work Association of America, National Waste & Recycling Association, National Career Development Association, Tile Council of North America, Modular Building Institute, World Floor Covering Association, Young Audiences Arts for Learning, American Case Management Association, The Minerals, Metals & Materials Society, Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries, Institute of Real Estate Management, International Health, the National Wooden Pallet & Container Association, and more.

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