Earlier today, the Big “I” joined the American Property Casualty Insurance Association and the National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies in announcing its support for the Business Continuity Protection Program (BCPP).
The BCPP is designed to bolster the country’s economic resilience by providing timely and efficient financial protection and payroll support to the private sector in the event of a future declared public health emergency.
The Big “I” believes that the insurance market should be part of any federal solution for future pandemic losses to demonstrate the agent and broker commitment to our customers, but also recognizes that pandemic risk is extremely difficult for the private market to insure. As a result, the BCPP is designed to give the insurance industry a voluntary role in the distribution of timely and efficient federal financial protection to the private sector in the event of a future declared public health emergency.
The program would allow businesses to purchase revenue replacement assistance through state-regulated insurance entities, including independent insurance agents and brokers, that voluntarily participate with the BCPP. The BCPP would be run by FEMA with limited administrative assistance from private contractors. Businesses would be able to purchase revenue replacement assistance up to 80% of payroll and other expenses through the BCPP. Relief would be automatically triggered and immediately paid following a presidential viral emergency declaration and local closures.
Businesses would also need to certify that they will use any funds received for retaining employees and paying necessary operating expenses and that they will follow applicable federal pandemic guidance. It is important to note that there would be no advance documentation or claims adjustment.
The Big “I” will continue to work with the insurance industry, policyholder groups, Congress and the Trump administration as the nation begins to consider policy proposals to deal with the potential economic damage future pandemics could cause. As this process plays out, we will make the most up-to-date government affairs information available on the coronavirus resource page and in the weekly News & Views e-newsletter.
Wyatt Stewart is Big “I” senior director of federal government affairs.