In Congressional Roundtable, Association Leaders Push for Pandemic Risk Insurance Act

Associations need a federally supported insurance backstop to protect against the financial impacts of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis and future health emergencies, executives told lawmakers.

ASAE President and CEO Susan Robertson, CAE, participated on Thursday in a congressional roundtable with Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) and other trade association leaders interested in ensuring that businesses and associations can financially recover from future waves of COVID-19 and other pandemics that may occur.

Maloney, a senior member of the House Financial Services Committee, is lead sponsor of the Pandemic Risk Insurance Act of 2020 (PRIA), a bill that would create a system of shared public and private compensation for business interruption losses resulting from future pandemics or public health emergencies. ASAE has endorsed Maloney’s bill since its introduction in May.

This bill is essential for the nonprofit association community whose lifeblood courses from in-person meetings and events.

“ASAE called for a PRIA-like package back in March when this crisis first hit, and now we are so proud to vigorously support the Pandemic Risk Insurance Act,” Robertson said at the roundtable. “It is essential to the sustainability of associations and so many others during this crisis.”

Under PRIA, covered business interruption insurance losses would include commercial lines of property and casualty insurance, event cancellation insurance, or other non-property contingent business interruption insurance. Like the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act, created after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the federal government would serve as a backstop to maintain marketplace stability and to share the burden alongside private industry.

ASAE delivered a community sign-on letter to Congress in July, alongside 2,200 organizations, calling on Congress to pass PRIA, among other requests.

“This bill is essential for the nonprofit association community whose lifeblood courses from in-person meetings and events,” the letter said. “PRIA offers the security nonprofit associations need to fully reignite our community’s far-reaching economic impact through industry-focused conferences, workforce development, educational programming, and other critical services.”

Meanwhile, more than 1,000 organizations in the last week have joined a new ASAE sign-on letter calling on Congress to expand access to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) to 501(c)(6) nonprofit associations.

While the White House and congressional Democrats remain far apart in negotiations on a new COVID-19 relief package, the stakes are high if Congress does not address the economic and public health needs of the nation before the November election. A skinny Republican bill that did include 501(c)(6) access to the PPP, among other provisions, failed to advance in the Senate Thursday. The House has already extended the PPP to associations in the HEROES Act, which it passed in May.

(Sezeryadigar/E+/Getty Images Plus)

Chris Vest, CAE

By Chris Vest, CAE

Chris Vest, CAE is vice president, corporate communications and public relations at ASAE. MORE

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