Life Insurance

NJ legislators push bill allowing coverage for pandemic-related losses

Apart from enabling insurers to offer a virus coverage rider, the bill also holds that the commissioner of New Jersey’s Department of Banking and Insurance (DOBI) “shall, on an expedited basis, review and approve, as appropriate, any insurance policy rider submitted by an insurer and designed to provide the coverage offered pursuant to section 1 of this act.”

“No longer are these businesses going to have to turn to page 17, subparagraph three, and realize, ‘Wait a minute. I’m not covered … and I’m left vulnerable,’“ said assemblyman Roy Freiman, D-Somerset. “That’s what this legislation is about.”

Freiman also explained during the recent hearing that during the pandemic, many businesses with business interruption insurance were “universally disappointed to find out that they did not receive coverage for the pandemic, that it was excluded.”

The assemblyman also learned from businesses that when they approached their insurers about the lack of coverage for pandemic losses, the insurers told them that “‘not only do we not offer it, but we’re not allowed to offer this type of coverage,” Freiman said. “The Department of Insurance doesn’t even allow us to offer this type of coverage.’”

Law360 reported that the legislation would take effect immediately and will apply to policies issued on or after the date when the DOBI commissioner approves such a rider.

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