The Upton Group, LLC a leading national insurance agency specializing in food delivery insurance is calling upon the federal government to develop an insurance program to fill a void in coverage that the current worldwide pandemic has exposed in the insurance industry, which affects all businesses but is especially hard on restaurants and other small businesses.
President Jason Upton said: "We have clients and non-clients calling everyday asking about insurance for the significant losses of income they are facing and local, county and state agencies and governments ordering restrictions and total shutdowns of their businesses for an indefinite period of time." Upton continued: "This crisis has revealed a major exposure for restaurants that is largely uninsurable. These businesses are providing millions of jobs across the country and a shutdown or restrictions in how their restaurant operates creates a significant financial challenge that unfortunately some will not economically survive."
The standard business owner's policy provides for loss of income, including actions by a civil authority. However, they typically require physical damage at the premise or off premise to trigger coverage. While some may dispute if a virus can cause physical damage, it is general accepted that a virus doesn't constitute physical damage.
Furthermore, commercial policies typically contain specific exclusions for viruses and bacteria via endorsements specifically designed to abate a court seeking to interpret coverage when there was never an intent to provide such coverage.
Upton stated: I believe while we have yet to see the worst of what the near future holds, yet one thing is clear: the economic loss to these restaurants and other small businesses is significant. This loss can only be handled by the federal government. In the wake of the September 11, 2001 terrorism attacks on our country Congress acted and President Bush signed the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act (TRIA) in 2002.
It is my belief that Congress needs to address the exposure created by an pandemic in a similar fashion. The government is on course to pass legislation in excess of $1 trillion dollars to 'bailout' the American worker and big business and small business loans. Leaders are pushing for help for the restaurant small business owners as well in legislation to come separately from the current bill that passed the House of Representatives.
An insurance program modeled after the concept of the TRIA program would be paid for by each policy holder purchase and the need for a "bailout" in the future might can be reduced or possibly eliminated, while guaranteeing our restaurant entrepreneurs and their employees that they have the protection that will allow them to survive the next pandemic, which scientists agree will come. A federal pandemic insurance program will provide certainty to an uncertain future.
About The Upton Group, LLC: is a leading insurance agency based in Guntersville, Alabama with a primary focus on pizza delivery franchises and other food delivery company's and restaurants. The company primarily specializes in coverage such as hired and non-owned auto insurance. Other policies coverages include Property & General Liability, Workman's Comp, Employment Practices among other specialty lines.