COVID-19 has revealed the expansive landscape of pandemic risk. The federal government has already committed $2.2 trillion to fund pandemic relief programs for individuals, businesses and state and local governments, just for 2020.Legislation & Regulation
Congress is currently debating whether to commit an additional $1 billion or $3 billion, with an outcome probably somewhere in between.
Meanwhile, policymakers, commercial interests and the insurance industry have been working through how to prepare for the risk of another pandemic in the years ahead.
While they may argue about how much capital the insurance industry should be asked to put at risk against future pandemics (ranging from $0 to $50 billion), even the most aggressive proposals would transfer only about 1% of foreseeable losses to insurers.
Further, those proposals would direct all of the insurance industry’s pandemic risk capacity to take on “business interruption” losses. For example, the Pandemic Risk Insurance Act would give large corporations the tools to make up for lost profits and reduced executive compensation during a pandemic.