U.S. Senate panel hears opinions from Chubb and others on pandemic risk insurance Reuters

© Reuters.

Alvin Scott

New York (Reuters)-New Jersey business owner Adenah Bayoh said at a US Senate committee hearing on Wednesday that she paid about $275,000 a year to insure her restaurant group, only to discover that her policy was limited during the coronavirus pandemic. .

The 13-year-old Liberian native who immigrated to the United States and now owns 7 restaurants said: “When the pandemic hit and the governor ordered the closure of my business, I was shocked that my insurance company and insurance were not suitable for me. “

The insurance company largely denied claims for business interruption caused by the pandemic, saying that the virus did not cause the physical damage required by the policy.

The hearing, driven by hundreds of thousands of experiences such as Bayoh, emphasized the challenge of insuring huge risks such as the coronavirus, and attracted industry leaders to seek possible solutions.

Chubb (NYSE:) Ltd chief executive Evan Greenberg (Evan Greenberg) told the subcommittee: “Stopping the entire economy for a long time and spending trillions of dollars to deal with the pandemic is not the future solution.” With insurance.

He added that preparation and better response will shorten downtime and may allow insurance companies and the government to share risks.

Other ideas include adjusting the system used to ensure the risk of terrorism after 9-11. Members of the House of Representatives are also discussing allowing insurance companies to cover initial losses and the government to cover long-term claims. Insurance companies can also help distribute government support without taking risks.

One proposal did not help, and pointed out that with hindsight, government support and stimulus measures have cured the economy to a large extent.

“A reasonable assessment is that no planning is required,” said Robert Hartwig, a professor at the University of South Carolina.

Bayeux, who is struggling to obtain a salary protection program loan, doesn’t like this solution. She said: “I hope I will not sit here and wait for another PPP in the next pandemic.”

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