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A coalition of industry guilds and organizations is again calling on U.S. legislators to implement accessible pandemic risk insurance coverage as COVID-19 continues to disrupt Hollywood production.
“As you develop the agenda for the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs for this year, the film, TV, and sports industries respectfully request that you address the broad economic impact that the withdrawal of pandemic risk coverage has created for our businesses,” a group of film, television and sports groups (including The Motion Picture Association, the Independent Film & Television Alliance, the NCTA – The Internet & Television Association, the Directors Guild of America, the National Association of Broadcasters, IATSE, the Producers Guild of America, American Coalition for Independent Content Production and SAG-AFTRA) stated in a letter addressed to Senate leaders on Friday. “Simply put, it is enormously challenging for us to go back to work absent pandemic insurance coverage.”
The letter was addressed to Senate majority leader Sen. Charles Schumer, minority leader Sen. Mitch McConnell, Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs chairman Sen. Sherrod Brown and ranking member Sen. Patrick J. Toomey. The same coalition of organizations sent a letter to ranking members of the U.S. House Committee on Financial Services calling for pandemic risk insurance in November, prior to a hearing regarding Rep. Carolyn Maloney’s Pandemic Risk Insurance Act of 2020 bill.
Without naming Maloney’s bill, this latest letter says “a long-term public-private partnership on pandemic risk insurance is needed to stabilize financing and employment,” which echoes the language of the Pandemic Risk Insurance Act of 2020, and references Maloney’s Terrorism Risk Insurance Act of 2002 as a template for such a partnership.
“We urge you to hold a hearing to review the need for pandemic risk coverage in the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs,” the signatories say.
In addition to this long-term solution, the signatories additionally ask for “direct intervention” by means of “temporary, targeted federal funds that provide the necessary guarantees of loss coverage so that productions can go forward” to get the industry jumpstarted. At another point in the letter, the organizations request that the next COVID relief package contain a shorter-term solution of this nature for the industry to weather out the pandemic.
As the organizations detail in the letter, since COVID-19 spread across the country in 2020, most productions have been unable to obtain insurance that protects them from business disruptions as a result of the pandemic. Without this insurance, productions risk losing the financing they need to get going.
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