Proposed Pandemic Risk Insurance Act Wins Broad Industry Support

Frances Ferrante, Senior Editor
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Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney

WASHINGTON, D.C. — A  bipartisan bill just introduced by U.S. Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY), senior member of the House Financial Services Committee, would help bring back communicable disease coverage to event cancellation insurance. Known as the Pandemic Risk Insurance Act (PRIA) of 2021, it has won the support of leaders from travel and business events industry associations.

The bill, if passed, would require that insurers make available in all their property and casualty insurance policies coverage for insured losses due to covered public health emergencies. It would also require that insurers make available parametric non-damage business interruption insurance coverage in their commercial property insurance policies, or to arrange for such coverage through an affiliate or a parametric insurance facility. This coverage would have to include compensation for up to 180 days of fixed costs and payroll for covered public health emergencies.

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Exhibitions & Conferences Alliance (ECA) Co-Presidents David Audrain, CEM, and David DuBois, CMP, CAE, FASAE, CTA, wrote a letter to representative Maloney in support of the bill, in which they described the long-term effect that the lack of communicable disease coverage is having on show organizers. “With expenses for business events starting to accrue one year or more in advance, many organizers — including smaller organizers and non-profit organizations — are financially unable to take on the risk of putting on uninsurable events. This disruption in the insurance market is significantly limiting our industry’s ability to bring back events and jobs,” Audrain and DuBois said.

ECA Board Chair Hervé Sedky applauded Maloney for her leadership, saying the bill would ensure the business events industry’s ability to organize events in the future. “This would help us bring back jobs, accelerate our road to recovery, and support the countless small businesses who rely on face-to-face business events going forward,” Sedky said.

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Other travel and business events industry spokespersons echoed his sentiments. “PRIA’s coverage for event cancellation is especially critical to our association community whose lifeblood courses from in-person events of all sizes and scope,” Michelle Mason, FASAE, CAE, President & CEO of American Society of Association Executives (ASAE), said.

Other travel and business events industry spokespersons echoed his sentiments. “PRIA’s coverage for event cancellation is especially critical to our association community, whose lifeblood courses from in-person events of all sizes and scope,” Michelle Mason, FASAE, CAE, President & CEO of American Society of Association Executives (ASAE), said.

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“It’s clear that without significant reforms to the business interruption and event cancellation insurance markets, travel businesses will not be able to get the type of coverage they need to reduce economic uncertainty and build a stable path to recovery,” Tori Barnes, U.S. Travel Association Executive Vice President for Public Affairs and Policy, said. “The sooner we stabilize the market for pandemic risk insurance, the sooner travel businesses can get back to business.”

 

Reach David Audrain at David@SISO.org; David DuBois at ddubois@iaee.com; Hervé Sedky at herve.sedky@emeraldx.com; Michelle Mason at mmason@asaecenter.org; Tory Barnes at tbarnes@ustravel.org