04/19/2020

In letters addressed to President Trump and congressional leaders, Nareit CEO Steve Wechsler and The Real Estate Roundtable CEO Jeff DeBoer recommend consideration of a plan to address the economic cost of business interruption stemming from the COVID-19 crisis; and development of a related plan to ensure future business continuity, leading to a speedy and sustainable economic recovery.

Citing the precedent of the War Damages Corporation (WDC), a federally-capitalized insurer, that was created in the immediate aftermath of the attack on Pearl Harbor during World War II, the letter suggests an insurance plan to retroactively address economic loss connected to the COVID-19 crisis, combined with a future insurance program against pandemics and related economic shutdowns into the future.

Notably, the letter indicates that such a program could be established without interfering with valid existing private insurance contracts.

In addition to the president, a letter was sent to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), and House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA).

(Contact: Robert Dibblee at rdibblee@nareit.com)

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