While other companies have been asking lawmakers for aid and support during the coronavirus pandemic, insurance company Allstate has spent its time lobbying against government intervention in their work.
The head of Allstate’s D.C. office, Saat Alety, successfully lobbied Congress against retroactively rewriting business interruption insurance contracts to cover lost income due to COVID-19 closures, an idea Democrats were pushing.
“The COVID-19 story that we have to tell in the insurance industry and for Allstate is a fascinating one. I would categorize this concept of government retroactively rewriting insurance policies as one of the worst ideas that emerged as a solution to the pandemic,” Alety told The Hill in a recent interview.
“Obviously the small-business community is in pain in this country, and Congress has tried to give them some relief and probably needs to do more, but having government rewrite our policies is to the extreme detriment of our policy holders, meaning that the premiums that we collect for these policies and for this business interruption coverage is meant for instances where there’s physical damage to the buildings or to the businesses,” he said.
Alety led efforts on information sharing and communicating with members of Congress on the issue and argued that when not disease but natural disasters such as hurricanes and wildfires do damage to businesses, that is when these policies kick in.
“Lo and behold, after all of that, we have now had a summer of record-level natural disasters, record level of damage from civil disorder … and that is what the insurance industry is there for, for its customers,” he said.
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