Additionally, when a pandemic hits, we must have a government program already in place to provide widely accessible relief payments to businesses in a quick and efficient manner and with minimal possibility of abuse. Prioritizing transparency and accountability is key to ensuring all businesses that need immediate payments get them and are able to stay operational in case of a prolonged disruption period. To this end, instead of an indemnity-based process, pandemic recovery payouts can be tied to business operating expenses.
Finally, proposed government policies must not only protect businesses from losses, but also incentivize them to keep their employees, without turning to litigation for coverage or jeopardizing existing insurer commitments, such as to auto and homeowners payouts. This is vital to economic stability. If insurers were forced to include pandemic coverage without having collected its costly risk-adjusted premiums, the industry — an important engine of our economy in Nebraska and across the country — could collapse.
With uncertainty growing by the day, and the increasing possibility of a virus resurgence in the fall that could once again force thousands of commercial establishments to close, we simply cannot afford to continue to allow our businesses — and our crucial American workforce — to suffer. Congress must recognize, and act on the fact that a government-backed solution is the only fix that can provide reliable relief to business owners today and help to protect them from similar situations in the future without risking insurers’ existing commitments to policyholders. Nebraskans, and Americans everywhere, need their government to do more.