Wisconsin Bill Supports Insurers to Protect Businesses from COVID Liability

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Wisconsin Bill Supports Insurers to Protect Businesses from COVID Liability

This week, Wisconsin lawmakers approved a COVID-19 liability protection bill that is designed to provide businesses immunity against COVID-19 liability exposures and update Wisconsin’s antiquated unemployment insurance system. Governor Tony Evers is expected to sign the bill today.

The Republican-drafted amendment outlines measures to provide liability protection for businesses and others (such as schools, employers, workers, and associations) in relation to COVID claims. In response to the bill, insurers have issued or have started to issue communicable disease exclusions in their policies.

Read More About Liability and COVID: http://marshfieldinsurance.agency/2020/03/13/how-coronavirus-could-impact-your-businesss-insurance/

Liability Protection When Reopening A Business

“In the long run, it’s good for Wisconsin business in my opinion,” said Marshfield Insurance CEO Nick Arnoldy. “Without coverage being available, businesses can find themselves where they don’t have a remedy to address potential litigation for COVID claims to their business.”

Arnoldy said that it’s hard to prove where COVID-19 was contracted, but having the liability protection in place allows businesses peace of mind.

“I think it makes just good common sense. Our State legislature has provided necessary immunity to businesses so they can choose to open or reopen without the fear of litigation,” said Arnoldy. “We as consumers are then empowered to take those responsibilities into our own hands and best protect ourselves and go where we feel safe. This is a win for Wisconsin businesses and hopefully the next step in getting back to normal.”

Under this bill, Wisconsinites will also hopefully witness progress in the State’s backlogged unemployment system soon. This is being done without the State funding Governor Tony Evers originally sought, as the Department of Workforce Development has been directed to seek any federal funding available prior to requesting funding from the budget committee.

The anticipated $80 million upgrade is designed to upgrade and improve Wisconsin’s unemployment system, with pressure during COVID-19 having revealed it to be woefully outdated.

Early in the pandemic, the State waived the one-week waiting period to collect unemployment. This suspension ended February 7, and without it Wisconsin has missed $2.6 million in enhanced federal matching dollars effectively resulting is less unemployment dollars for those out of work. This bill extends the waiting period suspension to March 14.

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