Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis called on Congress Thursday to find solutions to the issues surrounding business interruption insurance policies.
In a letter addressed to Florida congressional leaders, Patronis urged them to find a remedy that would help business owners who hold the interruption insurance and that would not collapse the insurance market.
“While I believe we need to offer some type of relief to our small business owners, we shouldn’t retroactively mandate insurers cover policies they never contemplated,” said Patronis, a former restaurant owner. “It would bring down the entire insurance market which would undermine the American and global economy.”
Patronis suggested that Congress should sit down with both consumers and industry leaders to find a solution.
“Many responsible businesses that care deeply for their employees and their communities have spent a lot of their hard-earned dollars on business interruption insurance policies for years, and Congress should take that into consideration as they craft programs to help businesses during this crisis,” Patronis said.
Patronis also called on Congress to clarify the relief packages being created to support businesses.
“If it is Congress’s intent that programs like the PPP are meant to address business revenues in lieu of a solution for business interruption insurance, then I would encourage federal leaders to make that clear to our small businesses who are struggling to get by in these challenging times,” Patronis said
The push by Patronis comes after Florida Office of Insurance Regulation Commissioner David Altmaier told a subcommittee of the Re-Open Florida Task Force that the majority of business interruption policies do no cover pandemics.
“Again, many policies and policyholders never contemplated a time like this because there has never been a time like this,” Patronis said.