Rep. Gil Cisneros (D-Calif.) wants small businesses to be protected in case a future pandemic strikes.
To do that, Cisneros signed on to support the Pandemic Risk Insurance Act, which would give businesses coverage during moments of disruption, like the current pandemic, or any future public health emergency.
The new legislation would create a system of shared public and private compensation for businesses that experience losses during a health crisis. Similar programs already exist, like the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act, which relies on the federal government to stabilize markets and share the financial burden caused by terrorist attacks, along with private insurance companies. This helps private insurance companies spread out the burden of completing hundreds of claims all at once during a crisis.
“The exclusion of pandemics under business interruption insurance has frustrated small business owners trying to weather this storm. As the 39th District and California begin to reopen, we need to ensure that a resurgence of coronavirus or any pandemic does not leave our small businesses behind again,” said Cisneros in a statement.
“I’ve been a strong and vocal advocate for business interruption insurance to cover losses as a result of this crisis. It’s why I’m proud to cosponsor the Pandemic Risk Insurance Act to protect our small businesses from future pandemics, as well as provide them with the assurance, confidence, and stability to recover.”
Cisneros also highlighted how frustrating it is for small businesses that have paid for business interruption insurance to discover it doesn’t cover instances when the government has to shut down businesses for public health crises.
“This pandemic has put countless small businesses in the 39th District in impossible positions, with some having to close their doors permanently,” Cisneros said in a previous statement. “We need to fix this for the future.”