By its very name, the coronavirus raises the question of whether it automatically excludes insurance companies from having to pony up for small business interruption claims related to the pandemic.
A bill in Trenton, NJ is stoking the debate and highlighting more uncharted territory of the COVID-19 crisis.
A-3844, which would compel insurance companies to cover claims by New Jersey small business owners for damages resulting from interruption of their operations due to the COVID-19 state-of-emergency declaration by Gov. Phil Murphy, and executive orders that forced them to shut down temporarily, remains a work in progress, according to its primary sponsors.
The measure never made it to the Senate floor on March 19 with the 28 other bills that comprise the COVID-19 emergency package, which sailed through the Assembly just days earlier. There was no Senate companion to the bill as of Monday, either.
“This doesn’t mean the legislation is off the table. As more and more small businesses need relief in the coming days, we will be looking for these insurance companies to be a part of the solution,” Greenwald, newly appointed Assembly majority leader said.