Chubb CEO: Forcing insurers to pay pandemic loss claims is ‘plainly unconstitutional’


MSNBC interview:  Key points: “You can’t just retroactively change a contract. That is plainly unconstitutional,” Chubb CEO Evan Greenberg said about state efforts to extend business interruption insurance to the coronavirus pandemic. “Most catastrophes, like a hurricane or an earthquake, are limited by geography or time,” Greenberg said. “Pandemic is very different. ... It has no geographic bounds, it has no time limit.” “The only one who could really take the infinite nature, financial nature, of that is the government,” he said. State lawmakers have made efforts to extend business interruption coverage to coronavirus-related insurance claims, but the head of a leading commercial real estate insurer is objecting to those moves. Chubb CEO Evan Greenberg, in an interview on CNBC Thursday, said state governments can’t force insurance companies to cover incidents not included in the policy, leaning on the U.S. Constitution for support.

“You can’t just retroactively change a contract. That is plainly unconstitutional,” he told “Mad Money” host Jim Cramer, who acknowledged that he is a Chubb client. “The industry would prevail on that and so I understand the frustration of legislators, I understand they’re looking for a remedy, but this would be a self-inflicted injury and create great uncertainty at a time when we have enough uncertainty and we’re trying to heal the economy.”
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Posted by Alex Hodges
Alex has 40+ years of experience in the industry with a specific interest in the international P&C business. Alex began his career with Rollins Burdick Hunter Co in Chicago; moved to New York with the firm; then back to Chicago HQ after the acquisition of RBH by Aon. As part of Aon’s global acquisition team, he moved to The Netherlands to help with the integration of Hudig-Langeveldt and Frank B. Hall in Europe, Scandinavia, United Kingdom and the Middle East. Alex has expertise managing large multinational insurance programs. His last position with Aon was managing the Aon-owned Strategic Underwriters International MGA for Kidnap, Ransom & Extortion, Workplace Violence and Political Risk. Alex is the founder of Insurance Services Network Corporation and Editor-in-Chief of the IRL – Insurance Research Letter.



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