As the COVID-19 pandemic forces the closure of businesses throughout the US, the American Property Casualty Insurance Association (APCIA) has issued a statement saying that as a trade group representing P&C insurers, its members will continue to serve consumers in these difficult times.
“During this unprecedented era, we remain focused on our promise to our customers — paying claims for motorists, injured workers, homeowners, renters, and businessowners,” said APCIA president and CEO David Sampson in a statement.
Sampson added that many insurers are implementing contingency and continuity plans to protect their employees and reduce interrupted service to customers. Some companies have also implemented new flexible payment solutions for policyholders to help those customers experiencing financial stress in the face of the outbreak, the chief executive said.
The trade association leader also noted how the virus has challenged policies that have exemptions for such health crises.
“Insurers recognize that American businesses are facing unprecedented disruption. Many standard event cancellation, business interruption, and travel insurance policies do not include coverage for communicable diseases such as COVID-19,” Sampson commented, adding that some businesses have fortunately purchased broader protections through specialized coverage.
Sampson said that APCIA is calling for a national solution on managing pandemic risk “to support an efficient and well-functioning economy.”
“Managing these risks will be critical to supporting jobs and businesses, and our country’s supply chain, as we rise from the crisis. America has options and insurers will help propose solutions.”
APCIA’s chief executive also made known the association’s full support for federal assistance.
“APCIA supports the federal assistance programs that the Administration and Congress are proposing to deliver aid directly to vulnerable business communities, particularly affected small businesses,” he said.
“However, if policymakers force insurers to pay for losses that are not covered under existing insurance policies, the stability of the sector could be impacted.”
Sampson cautioned that insurance stability is key, especially as natural disaster events have been on the rise every year. He also pointed out that spring flood season is underway, the hurricane season is just around the corner, and the risk of wildfire is year-round.
“We stand ready to work with the President, Congress, and state insurance regulators to ensure our nation recovers from this crisis, and to provide effective relief to those most vulnerable, as well as forward-looking answers that speed economic recovery from future pandemics,” the association leader concluded in his statement.