The New Jersey Legislature is taking up a number of bills in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. On March 19, 2020, attorneys from Connell Foley LLP remotely attended the New Jersey Senate session that approved a number of Assembly bills aimed at addressing the health, business and economic impacts of COVID-19. One proposed Assembly bill, NJ A-3844, that the Senate was originally scheduled to vote on, but was ultimately not taken up in that session, was designed to legislatively eliminate the “virus” exclusion, thereby requiring insurers to provide coverage for business interruption losses due to COVID-19. While A-3844 was not considered by the Senate, and will not be voted on during this legislative session, its potential impact and effects would have been far-reaching. However, it is important for insurers to be aware of this and other proposed legislation.
On March 16, 2020, the proposed Bill was approved by a 4-1 vote to advance to second reading, but was subsequently removed from the legislative calendar after insurance industry representatives raised concerns about the proposed Bill’s consequences. While the proposed Bill appears unlikely to be passed into law in its current draft after the Senate did not vote on it, and with the Legislature not scheduled to reconvene until May 2020, insurers writing policies in the state of New Jersey must still stay abreast of the proposed Bill and other legislative developments. The Legislature will likely continue to propose legislation to respond to COVID-19 that will have direct impacts on the insurance industry.
Click here for a detailed discussion of insurance issues arising from draft Bill A-3844.
Connell Foley is continuing to monitor the status of draft bill A-3844 and is available to provide additional updates as more information becomes available. In the meantime, should you have any questions concerning A-3844 or any other questions concerning insurance coverage and COVID-19, please do not hesitate to contact us.