France assesses insurance options to protect businesses and jobs from future pandemics

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The French government is looking for ways to protect businesses from the impact of future pandemics.

The aim is to protect businesses and jobs from the damage that major events such as pandemics can cause, Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said in a statement. A task force made up of lawmakers and industry representatives proposed a range of solutions to develop insurance coverage for such disasters, and Le Maire sought public comments on his proposals to inform the work. government on the matter.

The government plans to complete work on a hedging plan by the end of the year. French companies suffered 147 billion euros ($ 168 billion) in operating losses during the coronavirus epidemic, according to the statement on Thursday.

The government’s efforts come as French insurers face a public backlash over their handling of business claims related to losses incurred during the lockdown. AXA SA found itself in the spotlight when its dispute with a Parisian restaurant ended up in court. After losing this lawsuit, the insurer agreed to cover the losses suffered by several hundred restaurants.

Lloyd’s of London called on the industry to create new insurance policies and government-backed funds to protect against future pandemics and global threats. The world’s largest insurance market has come up with a new type of policy that would cover income lost in a foreclosure when businesses are ordered to shut down.

Some European countries have also said they will step in to support the trade credit insurance market, fearing struggling companies will not be able to renew their policies. The UK government has said it will temporarily guarantee transactions for companies such as manufacturing and construction companies that are currently covered against defaults. Germany has also agreed to cover the losses of commercial credit insurers.

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Copyright 2020 Bloomberg.

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