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PIA National Opposes the Business Interruption Relief Act

PIA National opposed similar legislation introduced in the spring.
July 2, 2020

WASHINGTON — The National Association of Professional Insurance Agents (PIA National) is opposed to the Business Interruption Relief Act (H.R. 7412), which was introduced this week by Rep. Mike Thompson (D-CA). The bill would create a voluntary program for insurers in which they could retroactively pay business interruption (BI) claims and be reimbursed by the federal government.

PIA National opposed similar legislation introduced in the spring, and it opposes this legislation for many of the same reasons. “The bill purports to quickly assist businesses in need, when it is not designed to help all or even most small businesses. Only about 30 percent of small businesses even has business interruption coverage,” said PIA National Vice President of Government Relations Jon Gentile. “As such, only a small percentage of businesses would benefit in any way from this bill, and thousands of business owners would be left struggling.”

PIA National is also concerned with the ramifications of retroactively mandating BI coverage via statute, even when done voluntarily. Such legislation would call into question the reliability of commercial contractual relationships and threaten the financial stability of the insurance sector. And the downstream effects of such a law, which could set a precedent for legislative rewriting of all kinds of contracts, could be unintentionally catastrophic across multiple economic sectors.

PIA National will urge policymakers to reject any proposal—voluntary or not—that would retroactively rewrite BI provisions and instead focus on assistance that will offer sustainable solutions to the vast majority of affected small businesses.

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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