The president recently got himself into hot water with insurance companies when he spoke about the need for insurers to make good and pay up on claims for business interruption losses in the wake of COVID-19.
In a coronavirus briefing, the president went on the offensive, criticizing insurers for denying claims by businesses that have been paying premiums for decades:
“Business interruption insurance . . . when I was in private, I had business interruption . . . When my business was interrupted through a hurricane or whatever it may be . . . if I had it [business interruption insurance], I’d expect to be paid. You have people — I speak mostly to the restauranteurs, where they have a restaurant, they’ve been paying for 25, 30, 35 years — business interruption. They’ve never needed it. All of a sudden, they need it. And I’m very good at reading language . . . And I don’t see the word ‘pandemic’ mentioned [in the policies] . . . I would like to see the insurance companies pay if they need to pay, if it’s fair. . . But business interruption insurance, that’s getting a lot of money to a lot of people. And they’ve been paying for years . . . they’ve been paying a lot of money for a lot of years for the privilege of having it. And then when they finally need it, the insurance company says, ‘We’re not going to give it.’ We can’t let that happen.”