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Pinnacol Assurance donates $1.825M to COVID-19 funds to help Colorado businesses and workers

April 30, 2020
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Insurer implements additional operational changes to support policyholders and injured workers

DENVER — April 30, 2020 — Pinnacol Assurance, Colorado’s largest workers’ compensation insurer, donated nearly $2 million to an array of funds that support businesses and workers in Colorado impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Through its philanthropic giving program, Pinnacol donated the following amounts to the following funds:

$1 million to the Help Colorado Now fund. Hosted by the State of Colorado and Mile High United Way, funds provide flexible resources to organizations in Colorado working with communities who are disproportionately impacted by the outbreak.The Colorado Health Foundation has generously matched Pinnacol’s gift to enable a total donation of $2 million.

 $250,000 to the Denver Small Business Relief Fund. Created by Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock, Denver Economic Development and Opportunity (DEDO), and Downtown Denver Partnership, the fund provides relief to businesses that may have had to temporarily close, are struggling with paying rent and utilities, or have had to lay off staff.

 $250,000 to the Downtown Colorado Springs Business Relief Fund. The Downtown Development Authority in Colorado Springs will provide grants of $2,500 to $25,000 to eligible businesses that face financial catastrophe because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Restaurants, soft-goods retailers, art galleries, coffee shops and salons within the authority’s boundaries are among the types of businesses eligible.

$125,000 to the Greeley Recovery Fund. This fund supports businesses in Greeley in addressing timing gaps in funding not supported readily with the federal assistance and in collaboration with its local partners. The goal is to facilitate a short-term relief program for businesses hardest hit currently and offer immediate relief.

 $125,000 to the Restaurant Association Angel Fund. This fund supports restaurant and hospitality workers with financial assistance and access to support services that provide federal, state and community resources for housing,transportation, mental health, medical, childcare assistance and more. 

 $75,000 to the Grand Junction Covid-19 Responders Loan Fund. Provides funds for working capital, equipment and/or inventory to be used to directly support companies responding to the COVID-19 crisis.

 “For more than 100 years, Pinnacol has been in the business of caring,” said Phil Kalin, Pinnacol’s president and CEO. “We were built in Colorado, for Colorado, and we are grateful to be in a position to help Coloradans during this time of crisis. We encourage similarly positioned businesses to help augment what philanthropic organizations and state, federal governments are doing to help, and together, we can help save businesses and their employees from this once-in-a-generation challenge.”

Colorado Governor Jared Polis remarked, “We are grateful for the support that we have received from private sector partners like Pinnacol Assurance.Thanks to their generosity, we will be able to support Coloradans across our state who are being affected by this deadly virus.”

With these donations, Pinnacol sought to provide relief statewide as well as to key population centers and critically impacted business sectors.

“We were thrilled when we received the call from Pinnacol Assurance about their generous gift for the Greeley Area Recovery Fund,” said Jaime Henning, president and CEO of the Greeley Area Chamber of Commerce.“These dollars will help us get businesses back on their feet, and employees back to work and build back the heart of our communities.”

Additional measures to support businesses and workers

In addition to philanthropic support, Pinnacol recently launched a variety of new actions to provide support including covering the needs of first responders and enacting payment flexibility for businesses.

Measures include:  

· Policy cancellation forgiveness through May 31.

· Short-term wage replacement for first responders and frontline healthcare workers who are exposed to the virus and must quarantine; this benefit lasts for up to two weeks and is not applied against the policyholder’s premium.

· Covering the cost of provider-authorized testing for employees of our policyholders who believe they were exposed to COVID-19 at work.

· Working with policyholders to adjust their payroll numbers in our system in order to ensure we are not charging them premiums for laid-off employees.

· Creation of a new classification code that charges its policyholders zero premium on wages to employees who are paid but not working. The class code has been approved by the Colorado Division of Insurance, and the National Council on Compensation Insurance (which advises on rates in most states, including Colorado) is recommending adding it to their manual of insurance rating codes.

Adapting your business for COVID-19 impacts