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Bill calls for insurers to say whether BI policies cover pandemics

NJ Assembly

The New Jersey Assembly has approved legislation that would require certain insurers to disclose to prospective buyers and current policyholders whether their business interruption policies cover pandemics.

The move was welcomed Tuesday by insurance industry trade group the American Property Casualty Insurance Association.

The bill, A-4805, requires insurers that issue business interruption policies in New Jersey to disclose to any potential purchaser, or policyholder seeking renewal, whether the policy provides coverage for “global virus transmission or pandemic coverage.”

The disclosure must be in a “form and manner prescribed by the Commissioner of Banking and Insurance,” according to the text of A-4805.

The bill also requires insurers to notify current policyholders with business interruption insurance within 30 days of the enactment of the bill whether the policy provides coverage for global virus transmission or pandemic coverage.

The notification must be in a written statement delivered by mail or electronic means, according to the text of the bill.

If signed by the governor, insurers will implement A-4805 as outlined, Alison Cooper, vice president of state government relations for APCIA, said in a written statement Tuesday.

“Insurers are committed to helping their customers fully understand their business interruption policies and the coverage options available to them, especially in the midst of a pandemic,” she said.

The bill was introduced on Oct. 8, 2020, and passed both the Senate and Assembly on March 25.