Will the Next Stimulus Bill Include Pandemic Risk Insurance?

There is a growing recognition that it’s better to plan and prepare now for the future economic risk associated with pandemic-related and other potential government shutdowns.

Senate leader Mitch McConnell has repeatedly said there needs to be some protection for businesses in the next stimulus bill. <

He isn’t alone in this sentiment. The Real Estate Roundtable is lobbying to have pandemic risk insurance included, according to comments Ryan McCormick, senior vice president and counsel of the organization made in a recent CBRE podcast.  He says there is a growing recognition that it’s better to plan and prepare now for the future economic risk associated with pandemic-related and other potential government shutdowns. <

McCormick says two dozen industries, representing 50 million workers, including restaurants, entertainment, movie gaming and hospitality, have created a business continuity coalition to develop a plan. He says the concept is a public-private business continuity insurance program that will enable employers to keep payrolls and supply chains intact, protect jobs and reduce furloughs in the event of a future shutdown.<

But don’t expect change overnight.<

“I would say this is very much in the early stage,” McCormick said on CBRE’s “The Weekly Take.” “I think this is going to take some time, just like the terrorism risk insurance program post-9/11 took some time to get into law, but we see it as one of those long-term issues.”<

McCormick says tenants are increasingly seeking some protection from lease payments and rental payments in the event of future government shutdowns. “And so the property owner is looking for some insurance coverage in the event that there are risks that arise there,” McCormick says.<

While McCormick wants to see pandemic risk insurance included in new legislation, he’s pessimistic that a new stimulus will come out of the lame-duck session of Congress.<

“I will say that the president-elect has turned up the volume,” McCormick says. “He is speaking more forcefully about the need to get something done. But lame-duck sessions historically underperform expectations.”<

McCormick says the Senate is looking for a $500 billion package, while the House of Representatives is seeking a deal near $2 trillion.<

“I would suspect we’re going to land somewhere closer to the Senate, somewhere closer to $1 trillion or so, give or give or take,” he says. “In light of some of the more positive developments on the vaccine front, I think it’s going to be tough to get a $2 trillion bill enacted any time soon.”<

Source: Globe St.