Proposed New Jersey Bill Would Force Insurers To Cover Certain COVID-19 Business Interruption Losses

Small-business owners banking on their so-called business disruption insurance to bail them out of the mounting losses being inflicted by the COVID-19 pandemic may be in for a rude shock.

That’s because a little-known condition of coverage put in place in 2006, a few years after the SARS outbreak, excludes coverage for any “loss due to virus or bacteria.”

Still, as business losses pile up, a New Jersey lawmaker is trying convince insurance companies that they have a key role play in mitigating the devastating economic impact of the coronavirus outbreak.

As part of efforts to help the economy recover, Assemblyman Roy Freiman, a Democrat from North Jersey, introduced a bill Monday that would force insurers to pay certain COVID-19 business interruption claims.

The bill is an early bid to tap into a large pool of money that could be used to help rebuild the economy after massive losses. Similar efforts happened after 9/11, Hurricane Katrina, and other catastrophes.

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