Rep. Cisneros cosponsors Pandemic Risk Insurance Act to protect small businesses

Representative Gilbert R. Cisneros, Jr. (CA-39) cosponsored the Pandemic Risk Insurance Act (PRIA) of 2020. This legislation will 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. 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. The text of the bill can be found here.

“The exclusion of pandemics under business interruption insurance has frustrated small business owners trying to weather this storm. As the 39th District and California begin to reopen, we need to ensure that a resurgence of coronavirus or any pandemic does not leave our small businesses behind again,” said Rep. Cisneros. “I’ve been a strong and vocal advocate for business interruption insurance to cover losses as a result of this crisis. It’s why I’m proud to cosponsor the Pandemic Risk Insurance Act to protect our small businesses from future pandemics, as well as provide them with the assurance, confidence, and stability to recover.”

“9/11 exposed the need for terrorism risk insurance, and since the impact of coronavirus on the travel industry has been nine times that of 9/11, it is very sensible to offer a similar backstop for pandemics,” said Tori Emerson Barnes, U.S. Travel Association Executive Vice President for Public Affairs and Policy. “This measure will go a long way in giving businesses the confidence they need to reopen, which will be vital to a rapid, robust and sustained economic recovery. Congresswoman Maloney and the other co-sponsors of PRIA deserve enormous credit for initiating this crucial step to restore American jobs and put the country back on the road to prosperity.”

“Congress must take swift action and begin contemplating a solution to provide all businesses protection against future pandemic risks,” said Leon Buck, National Retail Federation Vice President for Government Relations, Banking and Financial Services. “The development of a public-private partnership to address this risk will provide certainty for businesses and organizations of all sizes and will ensure that we can meet future pandemic events with greater reliance. Not every pandemic will have worldwide impact, but when and where one occurs it is likely to result in a nearly total cessation of business. This legislation is the cornerstone of a proactive approach in managing the risk and impact of a pandemic or epidemic in the future.”

“The Pandemic Risk Insurance Act offers a critical solution for associations and others devastated by event cancellations, slashed reserves and sharp membership declines amid COVID-19,” said Susan Robertson, CAE; American Society of Association Executives President and CEO. “ASAE thanks and applauds Congresswoman Maloney for introducing this important bill, which will no doubt help provide America’s 62,000 associations the security they need to fully reignite our community’s far-reaching economic impact through industry-focused conferences, workforce development and educational programming, among other critical services.”

In addition to those named above, PRIA is endorsed by: Marsh & McLennan Companies, Retail Industry Leaders Association, The Council of Insurance Agents & Brokers, The Travel Technology Association, the National Multifamily Housing Council, Partnership for New York City, Nonprofits New York, International Council of Shopping Centers, National Apartment Association, International Franchise Association, RIMS, 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 Commission on Correctional Healthcare, National Career Development Association, Tile Council of North America, Modular Building Institute, American Jail Association, 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, Racquet & Sportsclub Association, and National Wooden Pallet & Container Association.

On April 24th, Rep. Cisneros introduced a bipartisan bill to provide small businesses access to business interruption insurance that will help keep them afloat during the next national emergency.

On April 1st, Rep. Cisneros and the California House Delegation urged the CA Insurance Commissioner to ensure businesses can use business interruption insurance.

This article was released by the Office of Congressman Gilbert R. Cisneros Jr.