The U.S. Travel Association said that legislation to provide compensation for business-interruption losses would be critical to helping the travel industry weather future pandemics. 

Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) introduced a bill that would create the Pandemic Risk Reinsurance Program, a system of shared public and private compensation for business-interruption losses resulting from future pandemics or public health emergencies. 

Maloney said the bill would both require insurance companies to offer business-interruption insurance policies that cover pandemics and ensure that there is sufficient capacity to cover these losses. Like the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act (TRIA) introduced after the attacks of 9/11, the federal government would serve as a backstop to maintain marketplace stability and to share the burden alongside private industry, Maloney said. 

As the Covid-19 pandemic has caused the unprecedented closure of businesses throughout the U.S., hotel owners and other travel suppliers are among those that found that their business-interruption policies do not cover pandemics

U.S. Travel said that the measure would go a long way in giving businesses the confidence they need to reopen, which will be vital to a rapid, robust and sustained economic recovery.

“9/11 exposed the need for terrorism risk insurance, and since the impact of coronavirus on the travel industry has been nine times that of 9/11, it is very sensible to offer a similar backstop for pandemics,” said U.S. Travel executive vice president for public affairs and policy Tori Emerson Barnes. “The PRIA legislation is a critical step in building the policy framework to navigate out of the economic crisis that has resulted from the pandemic and help ensure it never happens again.”


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