Insurers Step Up, Despite Some Officials' Proposed Solutions.

AuthorAcunto, Steve

American Insurers, despite the threats to their balance sheets that some ambitious legislators have been proposing (to extend the BI coverage, to use workers' comp as a back stop for the effects visited upon society by COVID 19 and other "creative" ides) several have stepped up to help.

As we go to press, the BIG I has announced that Progressive Insurance has donated $2 million dollars to establish the Trusted Choice[R] COVID-19 Relief Fund in response to the economic and operational challenges the coronavirus crisis has presented to independent agencies. The grant will be dispersed directly to independent agencies via a Big "I" application process to meet those agencies' critical needs in the midst of the pandemic. Independent agencies can apply for assistance online.

"The Big 'I' is so grateful for Progressive's generosity in leading the charge to support the independent agency community during these unprecedented times," says Bob Rusbuldt, Big "I" president & CEO, who created a video message to address the donation and new fund. "Big T agents and agencies are facing unforeseen obstacles even as they seek to help their clients and communities in their time of need. To see Progressive step up and provide tangible, innovative support is a powerful reminder that we're all in this together. I know this will make an enormous difference to our agencies as they provide essential services across the country."

"Other insurance carriers and industry partners are welcome to provide resources to support this new 501(c)(3) charitable fund," Rusbuldt says. "With the impending loss of premium from retail and service businesses, independent agencies are now beginning to experience what many of their business clients are experiencing. Some agencies are also facing equipment shortages, staffing challenges and other barriers during the coronavirus pandemic."

The donation is part of Progressive's broader Apron Relief Program, which will also return approximately $1 billion in premiums to customers; provide an expedited claims experience for insured first responders and health care workers in a car accident; cover health insurance co-pays for Progressive employees' telemedicine visits and cover costs of coronavirus medical treatments and donate to charities focused on hunger, health and homelessness and more, according to the press release.

"Our Apron Relief Program is designed to help Progressive assist our four key stakeholders--employees, customers...

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