BUCKS COUNTY – April 20, 2020 – State Senator Steve Santarsiero (D-10) joined his colleagues today in calling for the passage of Senate Bill 1114 (SB 1114), which would protect small businesses that are currently experiencing business losses due to the novel Coronavirus.
While ordinarily a business may have insurance to account for losses that it sustains related to business interruptions, due to a provision that was added into insurance policies in 2006, following the SARS outbreak, there is an exception for claims due to viruses or bacteria. SB 1114 would allow for businesses to have continued coverage during the virus outbreak and would allow for insured businesses to purchase a rider for coverage due to the virus.
“I have been hearing from small businesses across Bucks County that have had business interruption insurance claims denied because of the exemption for viruses,” Sen. Santarsiero said. “It is vital that during this time we do everything we can to protect our businesses and make sure they are able to receive the insurance support they need. Whether it is car dealerships, law firms, construction companies, restaurants, or other businesses, we must ensure that when it is safe to re-open our economy, our small businesses are ready and able to serve their customers.”
Pennsylvania is one of several states, including New Jersey, Massachusetts, New York, Ohio, and Louisiana, currently considering such a legislative fix.