April 15, 2020

COVID-19 - Helpful Resources & Links

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The Department of Labor answers questions about the Families First Coronavirus Response Act ("FFCRA")..."If my employer is open, but furloughs me on or after April 1, 2020 (the effective date of the FFCRA), can I receive paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave?" You'll find answers to this and 36 other related questions here.

An overview of Arizona's eviction delay order and who can utilize it can be found here. Note that "tenants eligible for eviction reprieve must contact their landlord in writing and include documentation to support their cause", according to the order.

For information on COVID-19, individual resources, and business resources available to Arizonans, visit arizonatogether.org.

The Arizona Small Business Association is doing an exceptional job providing information on COVID-19 resources and U.S. Small Business Administration Disaster Loan information.

From friend and attorney Stacy Gabriel, Gabriel & Ashworth, P.L.L.C.

Dear Valued Clients and Colleagues,

The Department of Labor published the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (the "Act") poster. Employers who are subject to the Act (i.e. those with less than 500 employees) must post this poster in a conspicuous place in the workplace along with its other employment posters. The posting requirement may also be satisfied by emailing the poster to employees or posting it electronically on an internal or external website. We suggest you post this poster no later than March 31, 2020.

The DOL’s guidance also clarified that the Act goes into effect APRIL 1, 2020, not April 2 as initially indicated.  

Finally, the DOL issued FAQ’s that provide practical guidance and clarity on a number of topics that were ambiguous by the Act. The FAQ’s can be found here.

From friend and insurance agent Duke Schwartz of Schwartz Insurance Agency

Business Income, COVID-19, and State Intervention

Discusses NJ bill that would require carriers to pay business interruption claims to small companies for closures due to the virus.

March 17, 2020

AS COVID-19 spreads throughout the United States, individual states are taking various steps to protect citizens from the spread of the virus. Some governors have closed schools, restaurants, and bars and others are contemplating doing the same. Now some states are adding to the closures gyms, fitness centers, movie theaters, and others. Many states are requiring people to not congregate in groups of more than fifty people, in order to limit the chances of passing the virus to others.

Whenever there is a catastrophe of some sort, people naturally look to insurance. One of the significant coverages for commercial property policies is business income/interruption, which provides coverage for loss of business income due to damage to the insured property or to neighboring property that causes local authorities to restrict access to the insured property. With businesses being told to close, business owners are naturally turning to their insurance coverage. Unfortunately, they are finding out that such coverage applies only when property damage has occurred, either to their property or neighboring property, even if the closure is the result of actions of civil authority. This puts an extensive hardship on many businesses, particularly smaller businesses.

The state of New Jersey is discussing a bill today that would require all insurers whose policies provide coverage against loss or damage to property, and includes business interruption coverage, to consider interruption due to global virus transmission or pandemic as a covered cause of loss. This is specific to the Public Health Emergency and State of Emergency declared by the Governor in the March 9, 2020 executive order. Coverage is to be provided for any loss of business or business interruption for the duration of the state of emergency, and applies to policies for insureds with less than 100 eligible employees. Eligible employees are those working more than 25 hours a week. Smaller businesses are at great risk during this time because they do not always have the available resources and cash flow to survive during a long-term shutdown.

Once a carrier has paid out on these business interruption claims, the carrier can then file a claim with the Commissioner of Banking and Insurance for relief and reimbursement of these payments from funds collected for this reason. The commissioner will develop procedures for filing and processing such claims. The commissioner is authorized to collect funds from carriers to cover funds paid to those carriers making payments for these business interruption expenses. The funds collected will be proportionately based on each carrier’s written premium. If passed, the bill will be effective retroactively to March 9, 2020.

As of yesterday, four committee members voted for the bill, one voted no and one abstained. We will update the article as the bill progresses.

Article provided courtesy of FC&S, National Underwriter