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PIA National Hails the Launch of a New COVID-19 Recovery Fund Coalition

A group dedicated to developing a common-sense solution for businesses struggling to cope with the economic fallout of the coronavirus crisis.
May 4, 2020

WASHINGTON -- The National Association of Professional Insurance Agents (PIA National) is pleased to be an active member of a new coalition urging the creation of a COVID-19 Recovery Fund for businesses and employees. PIA National along with over 100 organizations from the business and insurance communities, have formed America’s Recovery Fund, a group dedicated to developing a common-sense solution for businesses struggling to cope with the economic fallout of the coronavirus crisis.

The proposal creates a COVID-19 Recovery Fund (Recovery Fund) within the U.S. Department of the Treasury. The Fund is modeled after the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund, operated by the federal government, and run by a presidential appointee with the authority to enter into contracts with interested businesses to administer the Fund and facilitate the distribution of federal funds to affected businesses.

“PIA has always been about providing solutions to problems in a proactive way, and that goal has become more essential than ever during this difficult time,” said Mike Becker, executive vice president and CEO of PIA National. “To that end, we’ve worked with our industry partners to develop a solution for businesses that have been hard hit by the negative economic consequences related to the coronavirus, while not upending insurance practices.”

In recent weeks, policymakers in some states have begun proposing a requirement for insurers to retroactively recognize financial losses triggered by the coronavirus outbreak as part of their customers’ business interruption (BI) coverage. Two bills introduced in Congress would rewrite contracts to apply business interruption coverage to provisions that explicitly exclude losses due to viruses, pandemics, etc. PIA National believes such actions to be shortsighted and dangerous.

“Only about one-third of American small businesses have business interruption coverage,” said Becker. “As such, retroactive BI proposals fall far short of helping all businesses. PIA has helped create a real solution for all businesses struggling as a result of COVID-19, and it doesn’t upend existing insurance contracts and practices.”

The Recovery Fund would provide short-term liquidity for small businesses by creating a simple form that could be electronically filed to help businesses maintain solvency while continuing to pay their employees. The Recovery Fund would protect lost wages for employees unable to work because of COVID-19 infection, quarantine, or operational shutdown; preserve jobs through payroll assistance for temporarily closed businesses that continue to retain their employees; and provide solvency assistance for businesses in danger of failing as a result of the pandemic.

PIA National will continue to work with Congress and the business community on effective, efficient solutions that provide the necessary relief to our economy and help our nation recover.

Founded in 1931, PIA is a national trade association that represents member insurance agents and their employees who sell and service all kinds of insurance but specialize in coverage of automobiles, homes and businesses. PIA’s web address is www.pianet.com.

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