Martin M. Looney

Senate President Pro Tempore

Martin M. Looney

An Advocate for Us

April 21, 2020

Connecticut Legislators Petition Congress to Enact Business Interruption Insurance

Contact: Kevin Coughlin | | 203-710-0193

HARTFORD – Today, a large group of Democratic state legislators led by state Rep. Sean Scanlon (D-Guilford) and state Senator Matt Lesser (D-Middletown), who are co-chairs of the legislature’s Insurance and Real Estate committee, sent a letter to Connecticut’s Congressional delegation urging them to support legislation now pending before Congress that would create a federal ‘backstop’ for business interruption insurance caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The letter, which was also signed by Senate President Martin Looney (D-New Haven), Speaker of the House Joe Aresimowicz (D-Berlin) and 59 other Democratic state legislators, comes in the wake of COVID-19 business interruption insurance claims now being denied by various insurance companies, who are arguing that interruptions covered by pandemics are not a covered benefit.

Sen. Lesser, Rep. Scanlon and others are urging Congress to immediately take up and pass the “Pandemic Risk Insurance Act of 2020,” which would require participating insurers to “make available” insurance coverage for a “covered public health emergency,” which includes “any outbreak of infectious ‎disease or pandemic.” The Act creates caps on the total monetary losses that insurance companies would face, with a ‘backstop’ on losses covered by the U.S. Treasury.

“We are deeply grateful for the incredible work our delegation is doing on behalf of Connecticut during this difficult time, and we look forward to working with them to ensure that if and when the next pandemic strikes – whether it’s a few months from now or years down the road – our local businesses will be protected by their insurance,” Rep. Scanlon said.

Sen. Lesser notes that following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on America, Congress passed the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act, or “TRIA,” which helped provide terrorism insurance to American policyholders by requiring that such insurance be offered while providing a backstop on losses payable by the U.S. Treasury.

“After 9/11, Congress and President Bush worked together to create a federal backstop for terrorism risk insurance claims. Building on that precedent, we are urging our congressional delegation to do the same for COVID-19 claims,” Sen. Lesser said. “We look forward to working with our strong Connecticut congressional delegation to find additional ways to support Connecticut businesses, small, medium and large, in this challenging time.”