"Insurance companies can get cash in the hands of people extremely quickly when you're a business," he added. "The federal government cannot."
But it turns out, said
"My empathy goes out to all small business owners," said Martin, whose group represents most property and casualty companies that sell in
That's the result, Martin said, of the outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, or SARS, in the 2000s. While that disease did not cause the national disruption now being seen by coronavirus, it showed what a "devastating effect" a worse pandemic could have on the insurance industry.
"They're telling me that it could be in the trillions of dollars in losses," Martin said. "And if you look at it in that perspective, what will happen is, you will have ... insurance companies that will become insolvent." With insurance companies unable to function, he said, businesses wouldn't be paid for any claims.
"A very similar situation happened on 9/11 with the terrorist attacks. The federal government stepped in and created (the) Terrorism Risk Insurance Act," which has the government share the burden of coverage.
"I believe this situation will require federal intervention as well," Lackman said, "due to the scope of the risk."
Lackman suggested that business people contact their agent or insurance company "as businesses all have unique risks which in turn makes their insurance policy unique.
"In these trying times the
McAnarney and Forinash -- who happen to be sister- and brother-in-law -- are hoping for help.
Forinash said having workers go on unemployment will increase his costs into that system. He also said that he's lost perishable food.
"Can we make it until next year?" he said. "Can we make it until next week? We are not a cash cow business. ... We still operate on small margins. Those are some of the battles that we're up against." He said he would "keep doing left foot, right foot, and try not to trip up too bad."
McAnarney said she and co-owner
McAnarney is hoping for the best, which could include a government program to help. She began online teaching Monday, but she said, it produces "nowhere near the revenue" of regular operations.
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