Business interruption losses from a global pandemic are uninsurable due to their sheer scope. Business interruption losses (in the U.S. alone) from the coronavirus are estimated at $220-$383 billion per month — an amount the industry could not and should not be expected to cover.
Americans across the country appear to recognize that only the federal government has the capacity to provide the relief business owners need. A recent poll initiated by Future of American Insurance and Reinsurance (FAIR) found that the majority of Americans believe the government should bear the financial responsibility for helping businesses stay afloat during the coronavirus pandemic.
The poll, conducted by CivicScience, found that only 16 percent of respondents said they believe insurance companies should bear the responsibility for helping businesses during the pandemic, and only 8 percent believe lawsuits against insurers are the best path for businesses to secure financial relief.
Business interruption insurance contracts were not priced to cover global pandemic risks, so forcing insurers to pay for claims their policies weren’t priced to cover would harm all policyholders, said FAIR in their commentary on the poll results.
A government-backed policy solution can provide immediate relief to struggling business owners and protect insurers’ ability to keep promises to policyholders for covered catastrophe losses, like damage from wildfires and hurricanes.
Trial attorneys’ attempts to retroactively force uninsurable pandemic coverage in business interruption insurance contracts are detrimental to policyholders, communities, insurers, and economic growth. A government-backed solution for struggling businesses in need of relief has never been more urgently needed, FAIR concluded.
FAIR is an initiative of the Insurance Information Institute and its member companies whose mission is to ensure fairness for all customers and safeguard the industry’s longstanding role as a pillar of economic growth and stability.