Earlier this week, Bob Rusbuldt, Big “I” president and CEO, joined with David Sampson, president and CEO of the American Property Casualty Insurance Association (APCIA) and Charles Chamness, president and CEO of the National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies (NAMIC) in writing an op-ed in The Hill newspaper titled A Plan for Future Pandemics.
The op-ed explains the difficulty of insuring pandemics and notes that pandemics, “are too widespread, too severe, and too unpredictable for the insurance industry to model or underwrite. A nationwide economic shutdown of millions of businesses simultaneously is beyond the capacity of any private industry to provide protections.”
While insuring for future pandemics would be extremely difficult, if not impossible, the Big “I” remains committed to finding solutions that work for policyholders, agents and brokers, and carriers. That is why the Big “I,” APCIA and NAMIC released a plan to create the Business Continuity Protection Program (BCPP). As outlined in the op-ed, the BCPP is designed to bolster the country’s economic resilience by providing simple, timely, and efficient financial protection and payroll support to the private sector in the event of a future declared health emergency.
Businesses would purchase their desired level of revenue replacement assistance through state-regulated insurance entities that voluntarily participate with the BCPP. The BCPP would be subsidized and look more like a prospective Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) than an insurance product. In addition to making rates affordable for businesses, this would allow for immediate funding to businesses when they need it most, without having to go through the time-consuming insurance claims process.
The op-ed goes onto to say that, “the BCPP is a solution that can work for everyone—customers of all sizes and structures—to provide protection against widespread economic shutdowns due to a future viral outbreak.” Additionally, the op-ed details that, “the BCPP would provide revenue replacement assistance for payroll, employee benefits, and operating expenses following a presidential viral emergency declaration. The BCPP would reimburse up to 80% of payroll, benefits and expenses for three months.”
As Congress begins to look at options to deal with future pandemics, the Big “I” and its company partners at APCIA and NAMIC look forward to working with the business community to meet their needs in this vitally important public policy discussion.
Wyatt Stewart is Big “I” senior director of federal government affairs.