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Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY), a senior member of the House Financial Services Committee, joined with various stakeholders to introduce the Pandemic Risk Insurance Act of 2020 (PRIA).
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.
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.
U.S. Travel Association Executive Vice President for Public Affairs and Policy Tori Emerson Barnes issued the following statement on the Pandemic Risk Insurance Act (PRIA, H.R. 7011)—modeled on the post-9/11 Terrorism Risk Insurance Act (TRIA)—introduced by U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY):
"The PRIA legislation is a critical step in building the policy framework to navigate out of the economic crisis that has resulted from the pandemic, and help ensure it never happens again.
"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. 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."