May typically marks the month where Big “I" leaders, members, and lobbyist converge on Washington D.C. to discuss with state congressmen and senators ongoing and upcoming legislative issues that impact the insurance industry. Like many other events this year the Big “I" Legislative Conference was not immune to the impact of the coronavirus, but luckily for the hard working group who helps organize this event we were able to persevere. Click here to watch the ON DEMAND sessions from the 2020 Big “I" Legislative Conference and see what you may have missed over this past week.
Your Nebraska team was able to setup virtual meetings with our state representatives to discuss issues that will soon find themselves on the floor of both the House of Representatives and Senate. We were able to speak with U.S. Senator Deb Fischer, U.S. Representative Jeff Fortenberry, U.S. Representative Adrian Smith, and U.S. Representative Don Bacon. During these discussions we were able to have thoughtful and proactive discussions regarding
- Insurance industry's responsibility when it comes to covering business income interruption
Including 501(c)(6) organizations under the Paycheck Protection Program
- We are against the Business Interruption Coverage Act. This would force insurers to pay business interruption claims during a pandemic to ALL businesses with a property-casualty policy that includes BI. Any exclusions would be ignored if the bill is passed and put into action. This would cause the industry to lose about $255 and $431 billion per month, and that's only counting businesses with less than 100 employees. As a small business ourselves, Big “I" supports small businesses, but thinks this is the least effective way to help them.
Future funds or programs to safeguard businesses from an event like this again.
- The Payback Protection Program (PPP) has helped small businesses all over the country who are struggling. The Big “I" supports this completely, and knows how it much it has helped. The Big “I" also wants them to expand this funding to trade and professional associations. Our 50 state associations are important in the workforce, and feel that we could use the support as well.
- We've learned a lot from this pandemic, and Big “I" hopes that a lot is considered for the future in case another one happens someday. Also, we reiterated that we are against including business interruption coverage in commercial property-casualty policies for all future events considered a “national emergency."
The Big “I" legislative efforts and advocacy is a year round task, but is highlighted by this event each year. We were founded with legislative advocacy being one of its cornerstones and we will continue to do our part in helping our members to be well positioned to succeed, even if that means some disagreement with our own government. It is important to stay involved in order to keep legislative issues with the industry to a minimum.