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Pandemic backstop, flood covers major choice concerns for insurance companies



In the midst of a polarizing and hard-fought presidential election campaign, several issues affecting the real estate / non-life insurance industry could be affected by the final result.

With a record number of Americans expected to vote in the 2020 election and control in the White House and Senate in balance, industry officials say initiatives such as a proposed backstop for future pandemic risks, federal flood insurance program reform and resilience of likely infrastructure projects could all be affected by the next week's vote.

"As we entered 2020, the most important issue I received was attention from our members about social inflation and rising litigation costs," said Jimi Grande, senior vice president of government affairs for the National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies. in Washington.

Instead, the agenda is now dominated by "many issues specific to COVID," Grande said. "How do we insure against a pandemic in the future ̵

1; that conversation began almost immediately." as TRIA has been discussed in recent months.

Although it is possible to design and construct a plan to insure pandemic risks, "you have to go into it with open eyes," Grande said.

A program that would cover all businesses in the United States would be "heavily subsidized by taxpayers" and could cost about $ 3 trillion to $ 4 trillion, he said.

Pandemic risk will be a future issue, says Joel Wood, Senior Vice President of Government Affairs for Washington-based Council of Insurance Agents & Brokers.

"It is becoming increasingly clear that the issue of pandemic business interruption coverage will be next year," although "for a few m it looked like something that could be passed in the Lame Duck Congress," he said.

An existing Government insurance programs that have seen reform work in the past are the National Flood Insurance Program.

Reform of the program, which was approved for a year earlier this month, has been at a standstill in recent years, said Nat Wienecke, senior vice president of federal government for American Property Casualty. The Washington Insurance Association. The election, he said, "will provide an opportunity to participate in flood insurance."

Mr Wienecke said that while there may not be "massive reforms to the program," there are opportunities to improve it. [19659002] Sometimes geography is more important than party affiliation when it comes to government programs, says Charles Symington, senior vice president of Independent Agents & Brokers of America Inc. in Alexandria, Virginia.

For example, members of Congress representing flood-prone districts are more likely to support the NFIP, regardless of their party affiliation, he said.

One issue that is likely to arise next year is infrastructure projects, Wienecke said.

"Whatever the outcome, I believe Congress will build a great infrastructure next year," he said. "There are many opportunities in an infrastructure proposal that will help promote more resilience in construction."

The tort reform, which is another issue affecting the insurance sector, is likely to be affected by the election.

Corporate discharge is "much harder to achieve" in a democratic environment, says Wood from CIAB.

"There is definitely an overall fidelity to the trial of the majority of Democratic congressmen, and we are concerned about any kind of legislation that could be deceived in new laws," he said.

Meanwhile, with an increasing number of states adopting medical and recreational cannabis use, issues such as impairment standards have become a "unifying issue" for the insurance industry, Wienecke said.

At present he said, "there is no way of knowing from an employment perspective" what these standards are, and research on the subject has been blocked by legal conflicts.

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