Film, TV, guilds and sports industry groups from NASCAR to the NFL on Wednesday sent a plea for action to lawmakers ahead of a key Capitol Hill committee meeting on pandemic insurance.
The hearing set for Thursday morning, called “Insuring Against a Pandemic: Challenges and Solutions for Policyholders and Insurers,” is the first major step in D.C. to address the nation’s COVID-induced insurance disaster since Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) introduced the Pandemic Risk Insurance Act, or PRIA, back in May. It faltered with a lack of support by the insurance industry and the myriad other pressing issues facing Congress.
In a letter (see text below) to Maxine Waters, Chair of the House Committee on Financial Services and other committee members, the coalition notes that the film, television and streaming industries provide 2.5 million jobs in all 50 states. Film and TV production and sporting events were halted in March due to COVID-19 and continue to be pummeled by the a lack of insurance. Insurance companies immediately excluded pandemic coverage from all new policies. That’s made it particularly hard for independent producers seeking completion bonds but has raised the risks and the stakes for big players as well.
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PRIA, and initiatives to be discussed tomorrow, cover all businesses, not just entertainment.
“The restart of our industries in the U.S. cannot begin on a widespread basis without protection against the ongoing pandemic risks,” the letter said. “The ability of American businesses to secure pandemic risk insurance will be a key factor to America’s economic recovery and getting our workers back on the job.”
Signatories include the Independent Film & Television Alliance, the MPA, NCTA – The Internet & Television Association, IATSE, NASCAR, the NFL, DGA, NAB, PGA, NPACT and SAG-AFTRA.
The hearing can be viewed at 10 a.m. ET tomorrow here.