The Missouri Department of Commerce and Insurance has seen a dozen inquiries and six phone calls regarding business interruption coverage, but no formal complaints, because "it's been clear that there is no coverage under the inquirer's policy," said Lori Croy, the department's director of communications. APCIA said that "commercial and business interruption policies are not underwritten to include the risk of viruses, reinsurance is not purchased to cover viruses, and premiums are not calculated or collected to include viruses."
Christopher Swift, chairman and CEO of The Hartford, writes that insurers never collected premiums for virus-related losses because such losses are "generally outside the scope of business interruption coverage due to the absence of any physical damage." He writes that "we take pride in treating people with care and making sure they get the financial support they are entitled to under the terms of their policy," and he notes efforts toward establishing the Business Continuity Protection Program for relief during viral emergencies.
Many reopening businesses have had employees and customers signing waivers in hopes of mitigating potential coronavirus-related liability. The waivers do not guard against lawsuits alleging negligence, and lawyers say proving that someone's illness was caused by a business is likely to be difficult.
Auto insurance policyholders in Michigan have reduced their driving during the coronavirus pandemic and therefore must receive partial premium refunds or waivers, state officials said. The Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services has set a June 10 deadline for auto insurers to provide information on how they will provide such refunds or waivers.
Property insurance rates are likely to jump as much as 50% at June 1 renewals in light of the Atlantic hurricane season and the effects of the coronavirus pandemic on insurers' underwriting and investments, according to experts. "What we've seen over the past couple of years is an increase of [storm] losses from a frequency and severity perspective," said Susan Fallon of Zurich Insurance Group.
The heads of several life insurance groups, including NAIFA CEO Kevin Mayeux, released a statement addressing George Floyd's death and racism in the US. The statement said the industry is committed to providing financial security to all Americans, addressing systemic inequality and building a "diverse and inclusive profession" for both employees and customers.
Large chain retailers and restaurants tend to have sufficient coverage against damage such as the recent looting in cities across the US, but smaller businesses vary greatly in the amount of coverage they carry, said Janet Ruiz of the Insurance Information Institute. Next Insurance polling found that 44% of small businesses in operation for a year or more have never had coverage.
Kathleen Owings, co-founder of Westbilt Financial Group, calls being a woman a "secret weapon" because people tend to underestimate her. The former Army captain and immediate past president of NAIFA's Colorado state board discusses how she is navigating client reactions to the pandemic.
APCIA has expressed concerns about a Colorado Department of Insurance draft bulletin that would exempt certain coronavirus-related extraordinary life events from being factors in credit-based scores for setting auto insurance rates. "We appreciate the Department's good intentions behind the draft bulletin, but the practical application of this bulletin will essentially ban the use of credit and make Colorado an outlier from other states," APCIA's Lyn Elliott said.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has said that any future coronavirus-relief legislation must include business liability safeguards, and such efforts to protect small businesses against "nefarious" litigation should not be portrayed as a partisan issue, Blanche Lincoln writes. Some states have enacted coronavirus-related safeguards for health care and certain other sectors, but "a broader, uniform law is needed," writes Alfredo Ortiz of the Job Creators Network.