US Travel Industry covered with the Pandemic Risk Insurance Act

US Travel Industry covered with the Pandemic Risk Insurance Act

U.S. New York Congresswomen Carolyn Bosher Maloney today introduced the Pandemic Risk Insurance Act. This law is meant to cover businesses from losses for future pandemics, but unfortunately not from the ongoing COVID-19 losses.

The congresswomen made a name for herself when she took a lead in responding to the 9/11 crisis. She worked to ensure that New York’s recovery from 9/11 is completed and that the US national security is strengthened. A strong supporter of the 9/11 Commission, Maloney and her former colleague Rep. Christopher Shays (CT) formed the bipartisan 9/11 Commission Caucus upon the release of the commission’s final report.

Beginning in July 2004 and working closely with family members of the 9/11 victims on the Family Steering Committee, Maloney and Shays attempted to pass a bipartisan security reform bill in the House. They introduced companion bills to the Senate’s McCain-Lieberman and Collins-Lieberman legislation. They kept up the pressure for a final bill, even as the House-Senate negotiations appeared on the brink of collapse. Finally, in December 2004, Congress was called back to Washington to pass a landmark bill born out of key 9/11 Commission recommendations – a tremendous victory for the nation.

Today, the same Congresswomen introduced the first version for the Pandemic Risk Insurance Ask. Supported by the US Travel Association and other leaders in the travel, tourism, and meetings industry, this bill is designed to allow businesses to buy insurance coverage designed to keep staff employed and doors open. It’s designed to avoid the meeting and incentive industry from having to cancel events and to stay open.

“I have never seen a bill to become law after the first version, but this is a working document in progress,” the congresswomen told eTN.

“It would be up to businesses to buy the insurance, and it would be up to insurers to offer such policies. The bill, however, gives government backing to such coverage capped with 750 billion dollars. Such a cap will not save the travel and tourism industry but is a start to delay devastating effects and allow a business to recover if possible.”

When eTurboNews asked how such a bill can ensure the new upcoming normal and possible shrinking of the industry, the congresswomen wanted to make this bill as sustainable as possible but realized its limits.

The Pandemic Risk Insurance Act would be an important step in Congress’s prevention efforts against economic losses from future pandemics by both requiring insurance companies to offer business interruption insurance policies that cover pandemics, and creating a Pandemic Risk Reinsurance Program to ensure that there is sufficient capacity to cover these losses and protect our economy in anticipation of a resurgence of COVID-19 and future pandemics. 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.

“Millions of small businesses, nonprofits, mom-and-pop shops, retailers, and other businesses are being left out in cold and will never be able to financially recover from the coronavirus crisis, because their businesses interruption insurance excludes pandemics,” said Congresswoman Maloney. “We cannot allow this to happen again. These employers and their employees need to know that they will be protected from future pandemics, which is why I am introducing the Pandemic Risk Insurance Act.”

“Nonprofits in New York have lost countless millions of dollars in revenue, thousands of staff, and even shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and nonprofits are consistently denied insurance claims for these losses. None of us know when this pandemic will end or when another will begin,” said Chai Jindasurat, Policy Director at Nonprofit New York, an association of over 1,500 nonprofits. “Congresswoman Maloney’s Pandemic Risk Insurance Act is a proactive, market-friendly insurance solution to fund and cover future business losses that will create much-needed stability for our economy and our communities.”

“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.”

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, 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.

Congresswomen Carolyn Bosher Maloney was first elected to Congress in 1992, Carolyn B. Maloney is a recognized national leader with extensive accomplishments on financial services, national security, the economy, and women’s issues. She is currently Chairwoman of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, the first woman to hold this position.

Maloney has authored and passed more than 74 measures, either as stand-alone bills or as measures incorporated into larger legislation packages. Twelve of these bills were signed into law at formal (and rare) Presidential Signing Ceremonies.  She has authored landmark legislation including the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act and its reauthorization to make sure all those suffering health ailments associated with 9/11 get the medical care and compensation they need and deserve; the Debbie Smith Act, which increases funding for law enforcement to process DNA rape kits and has been called ‘the most important anti-rape legislation in history;’ and the Credit CARD Act, also known as the Credit Cardholders’ Bill of Rights, which according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), has saved consumers more than $16 billion annually since it was signed into law in 2009.

Rep. Maloney’s career has been a series of firsts. She is the first woman to represent New York’s 12th Congressional District; the first woman to represent New York City’s 7th Councilmanic district (where she was the first woman to give birth while in office); and was the first woman to Chair the Joint Economic Committee, a House and Senate panel that examines and addresses the nation’s most pressing economic issues. Only 18 women in history have chaired Congressional committees. Maloney is the author of Rumors of our Progress Have Been Greatly Exaggerated: Why Women’s Lives Aren’t Getting any Easier and how we can Make Real Progress for Ourselves and Our Daughters, which has been used as a textbook in women’s studies courses.

As a senior member of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, Maloney’s legislation has helped the government work more efficiently and has saved hundreds of millions in taxpayer dollars.

A champion for domestic and international women’s issues, Rep. Maloney has authored and helped pass legislation that targets sex trafficking, including the first bill that focused on the ‘demand’ side of human trafficking to punish the perpetrators of these heinous crimes. She is co-chair of the Congressional Caucus on Human Trafficking, and co-chair of the Trafficking Task Force of the Congressional Caucus for Women’s Issues.


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