NRF: Pandemic Risk Insurance Act Would Provide ‘Greater Resilience’ in Future Outbreaks

by Alex Tostado

Washington, D.C. — The National Retail Federation (NRF) has shown its support for the Pandemic Risk Insurance Act (PRIA), a proposed bill that would establish a federal program to help businesses obtain insurance coverage for future pandemics. PRIA is based on a model of the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act (TRIA), which was enacted following the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and grants companies the ability to get insurance money from a terrorist attack.

“The development of a public-private partnership to address this risk will provide certainty for businesses and organizations of all sizes and will ensure that we can meet future pandemic events with greater resilience,” says NRF vice president for government relations, banking and financial services Leon Buck.

The bill was written with input from Washington, D.C.-based NRF, which says the potential funding would only cover future pandemics and not provide coverage for the current COVID-19 outbreak. The funding would reimburse insurers when claims related to a pandemic or epidemic exceed $250 million nationwide. Coverage would also be required for large gatherings, ranging from sporting events to concerts to conventions, that are canceled. The program would be capped at $750 billion.

The bill has been assigned to the House Financial Services Committee where there will be a hearing. Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.), who introduced the bill, is hoping to have the measure enacted by the fall in case there is a resurgence of COVID-19 cases in the fall or winter.

NRF has advocated for retailers and policies for more than 100 years.

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