Policy Issues



Pandemic risk is perhaps the largest unhedged risk in the economy. The COVID-19 pandemic exposed and exacerbated a protection gap in what the business and non-profit sectors assumed to be a resilient financial protection system of commercial insurance. Pandemic-related coverage in various lines of commercial insurance has been withdrawn or restricted going forward. Expanding coverage gaps present challenges for businesses across many industries and could stall economic growth.


Jan. 2023 Policy Toolkit - Capital & Credit



The Roundtable is working with industry partners, stakeholders and policymakers through the Business Continuity Coalition (BCC) to develop and enact an effective federal pandemic risk/business continuity insurance program that provides the economy with the coverage it needs to provide business continuity coverage in the face of pandemic risk. Looking ahead, a federal business continuity insurance program should be put into place before there is a recurrence of pandemic or government ordered shut down in response to other phenomena.


• The magnitude of the pandemic’s impact on the financial condition and general well-being of the nation has exposed significant vulnerabilities in our country’s economic preparedness for and resilience to systemic catastrophic events.

• This includes coverage gaps in insurance protection for pandemic-related losses from various commercial insurance lines.

• The COVID-19 crisis led to government-mandated shutdowns of non-essential businesses and shelter-in-place directives that severely disrupted economic activity in the U.S. and pointed to a lack of economic preparedness from such events.

• Going forward, it is important to protect American jobs and to ensure a sustainable and speedy economic recovery from future pandemics and government-ordered shutdowns. If not remedied, these insurance gaps could hinder economic growth.

• The Roundtable is working with industry partners, stakeholders, and policymakers through the Business Continuity Coalition (BCC) to develop and enact an effective, prospective federal public-private backstop program for pandemic risk insurance coverage across a variety of commercial insurance lines. Similar to the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act (TRIA) enacted the year following the 9/11 attacks, this program would provide the economy with the coverage it needs to provide businesses with pandemic-related coverages in the face of a future pandemic.

• The BCC recommends that all of the impacted lines of insurance, including event cancellation insurance, be supported with both a “make-available” requirement and a robust federal backstop for private insurers making the insurance available.

• The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) is working on a CARES Act-related study on pandemic risk insurance. The study will focus on the role that various property/casualty (P/C) insurance lines played in addressing business losses related to the COVID-19 pandemic. It will also explore various policy options for a federal role in supporting various commercial insurance lines or disaster assistance for business losses from a pandemic, including the advantages and drawbacks of each. Our BCC coalition is working constructively with the GAO to ensure that our perspectives are adequately represented.

• A number of frameworks have been proposed—all of which envision programs where insurers offer pandemic coverage policies to businesses with the federal government bearing most or all of the coverage costs.

• In testimony to the Senate Banking Committee’s Subcommittee on Securities, Insurance, and Investment, the BCC urged Congress to move expeditiously to pass bipartisan legislation that creates a public-private insurance solution to share the financial risk of losses related to pandemics. This urgent task is an essential precondition to the prompt recovery of this nation’s economy and going forward will help protect jobs and reduce economic damage from further pandemics.

• Senate Subcommittee on Securities, Insurance, and Investment Chairman Bob Menendez (D-NJ) is working with Senators Sinema (D-AZ), Moran (R-KS), and Tillis (R-NC) to develop bipartisan legislation in the Senate. The BCC is working with this bipartisan working group with the goal of introducing legislation in the Senate.

Other Resources

Roundtable Weekly (Policy Newsletter & Archive)
Annual Report (Roundtable Accomplishments & Activities)
Policy Agenda (Roundtable Goals & Advocacy)