Thursday, May 07, 2020

Hubris: DC, BI and CV-19

Via email from FoIB Sean K:

"DC City Council Withdraws Business Interruption Coverage Proposal"

Okay, interesting, but so what?


"I wanted to flag today’s District of Columbia’s City Council proceedings, where they withdrew draft legislative language that would have forced insurers to pay pandemic-related claims."


So let's unpack this, shall we?

First - and really, the only thing that matters - is under what sense of delusion did a city council decide it could arrogate unto itself the power to force insurance companies to cover anything? Regardless of its status as our nation's capital, DC is, after all, a city: not a county or state or country.

What I find even more amazing (and arrogant) are quotes from some council members which completely miss this point. For example:

"As an attorney, I feel we are stepping into uncharted territory in a way that I would not advise us to do. I don’t see why we would insert ourselves in this situation when there are already court cases out there trying to work this through."

He then expresses concern that this action may actually undercut federal efforts.

No, sir, they won't, for the simple reason that your council's actions (or lack thereof) are 100% irrelevant: you do not matter.

On the other hand, this is a good take:

"It's going to perhaps send a false sense of hope and promise to a community of folks who need action and relief now."

Precisely, and for the exact same reason as the first quote: what the DC council says has no legal weight, but the "hurry up and do something" nature of this effort could cause folks who are in desperate financial straits to falsely believe that help is on the way.

No, it's not. And we should actually be grateful for this. First, because we already know that "[f]orcing insurers to foot the bill for losses not covered by policies “would do great damage. It would bankrupt the industry."

Beyond that, forcing carriers to automatically include such coverage going forward would mean that only large commercial accounts will be able to afford coverage of any kind, forcing the permanent closure of countless small businesses.

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