COVID-19 Industry Reports

Part
01
of eight
Part
01

COVID-19: CPG Industry Impact

The COVID-19 breakout has impacted the United States' Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) Industry by causing an increased demand for cleaning products & shelf-stable foods, product scarcity, and disruption in the supply chain since the virus broke out in the country.
Overall, the COVID-19 has affected the CPG market in the following ways.

INCREASED DEMAND FOR CLEANING PRODUCT & SHELF-STABLE FOODS

  • Since the COVID-19 outbreak, cleaning products have become a priority item for shoppers, and this has led to a massive demand for the products. According to a report, 30% of the United States shoppers buy hand sanitizers, 28% purchase disinfecting wipes, 25% shop for household cleaners/disinfectants, and 24% buy antibacterial hand soap.
  • Shelf-stable foods like canned foods and bottled water also account for 20 & 22% of all shopping in the United States, a direct result of the sudden need to stockpile enough groceries at home to last through the stay-indoor period.
  • In terms of sales volume, hand sanitizer sales have jumped by 313%, 114.5% for medical masks, 59.6% for bath & shower wipes, and 52.3% for first aid kits due to the increase in sensitization against the virus and as details of COVID-19 related death emerged in the United States.

PRODUCT SCARCITY

  • CPG companies in the United States that rely on raw materials from China will experience production problems and scarcity due to the lock down of factories in China. Procter & Gamble already announced that 17, 600 products could be affected by the COVID-19 outbreak.
  • The increased demand for health & personal hygiene products due to panic buying of these supplies has far outweighed its supply. It has led to the shortage of supplies like toilet paper, wipes, face masks, etc., in the market.

DISRUPTION OF SUPPLY CHAIN

  • Companies that manufacture CPG could experience labor shortage and face potential supply problems as the demand for their products increases in local stores, but deliveries are delayed or suspended due to the COVID-19 outbreak in the United States. Some companies could even find themselves without enough workforce to continue the production of goods.
  • A lot of food supplies like garlic, apple juice, and seafood, which are imported from China where factories have been closed, will experience a disruption in the supply chain of such goods in the United States.
  • For some companies that manufacture two or more CPG, they now forgo the production of most goods and focus mainly on making scarce commodities available while neglecting the supply of other products.

ADDRESSING THE CHALLENGES/OPPORTUNITIES

  • Due to the overwhelming demand for hand sanitizers, some companies are now redirecting their resources into the production of hand sanitizers and other disinfectants.
  • Some companies are practicing social distancing and have instructed their employees to work from home to contain the virus and stop the possibility of their employees getting infected. For example, Proctor & Gamble has instructed its employees to work from home till the end of March 2020.

RESEARCH STRATEGY

To determine the impact of COVID-19 on the United States CPG industry, we searched for relevant articles on reputable websites like CNN Business, Washington Post, and Supermarket News to find out how the virus has changed the CPG industry since it was discovered in the United States.
Part
02
of eight
Part
02

COVID-19: Telecom Industry Impact

The COVID-19 pandemic of 2020 is having an unprecedented impact on society and business. With the vital role that connectivity plays in today's world and its heightened role amidst the social distancing measures employed globally, this has resulted in significant pressures being placed upon telecom providers. A number of these pressures and resulting consequences have been outlined below.

RETAIL CLOSURES

  • As people take steps to distance themselves socially in line with national medical guidance, this is having a double-pronged effect on telecom retail locations. The reduced footfall and consumer trade are rendering locations financially unviable. The concern of employees for their personal health and that of family members produces difficulty in maintaining staffing for such outlets.
  • In response, many telecoms businesses are implementing measures to mitigate the issues detailed above. T-Mobile has temporarily closed 80% of its U.S. stores, Sprint has closed approximately 71% of their stores and whilst Verizon is only closing circa 20% of stores they're closing stores on Sundays, reducing store opening hours on other days, and will limit the number of employees and customers in stores at any one time.


FINANCIAL SUPPORT FOR CUSTOMERS

  • The economic impact of the COVID-19 crisis has been swift and widespread, as 1 in 5 American households have experienced a layoff or reduction in working hours since the onset of the disease. This has repercussions for both consumers' ability to pay and their willingness to continue acquiring products or services.
  • Verizon has responded by announcing that the company will waive late payment fees incurred by residential and small business customers over the next 60 days due to economic circumstances related to the coronavirus. Verizon has also asserted that they will not terminate service to either of those customer groups because of an inability to pay their service bills.
  • In an effort to remove barriers to new business Verizon is currently waiving activation fees on new lines of service and upgrade fees for purchases made via digital channels.
  • These measures are mirrored in the Federal Communications Commission's Keep Americans Connected pledge which helps customers in three ways for at least the next 60 days: not cut off service to residential or small business customers, waive late fees incurred, and the opening of Wi-Fi hotspots. To date, 185 broadband and telecom providers are committed to the pledge, including Sprint, AT&T, and T-Mobile.

NETWORK DEMAND AND CAPACITY

  • As part of social distancing measures employees have been urged to work from home where possible and the education system is taking steps to implement remote/online learning. Together this is producing a regular demand on telecom networks at times previously unaffected by such a surge.
  • Verizon has asserted that their fiber optic and wireless networks have been able to meet this shift in demand, however, where there has been a significant increase in usage, they have been required to deploy engineers to provide added capacity to meet customers’ demand.
  • In addition, Verizon has obtained approval from the Federal Communications Commission to borrow AWS-3 spectrum licenses from two Dish Network affiliates, at no cost, which will significantly increase Verizon's mobile network capacity.
  • Similarly, T-Mobile has acquired previously unused airwave licenses held by Dish, Comcast, and others to expand LTE capacity for Americans to work and school from home. This has allowed T-Mobile to multiply its low-band 4G capacity by up to six times.
  • Sprint has also increased coverage for their customers, mainly in rural areas through a 4G LTE roaming agreement with T-Mobile.
Part
03
of eight
Part
03

COVID-19: Financial Industry Impact

The COVID-19 crisis has led to major economic losses in the American financial sector. In spite of the ability and continued commitment of the sector to providing effective customer support and services, the crisis has negatively impacted the industry and forced firms to execute contingency strategies. Examples of the impact of the crisis on the U.S. financial industry are outlined below.

Impact on Supply and Demand

  • COVID-19 has directly impacted firms in the financial industry by decreasing consumer activities.
  • This means that fewer customers are seeking services from financial institutions and this has led to reduced demand for banking and wealth management services.
  • Financial goods such as bank stocks have declined as the crisis spreads. For instance, the shares of JP Morgan and Morgan Stanley have declined by more than 25% since the beginning of 2020. This means that the banks' products are not in high demand any more due to the crisis.
  • Firms are consequently experiencing a decline in revenues.

Impact on U.S. Treasury Yields

  • The U.S. Treasury is backed by the American government and is usually considered to be a solid and safe investment.
  • However, Deloitte reported that 10-year bond yields have declined to a historic low of below 0.5%. This is because financial markets are pricing contracts based on a worst-case scenario, leading to increased volatility.
  • The Federal Reserve has responded to the compression in bond yields by reducing its interest in order to generate maximum efficacy from rate cuts.

Impact on Liquidity

  • Banks are facing liquidity challenges such as limited access to credit.
  • The probability of default has consequently increased as bank clients face challenges in repaying their loans.
  • These defaults will be particularly near in the speculative grade of corporate debt.
  • Additionally, private debt from companies and individuals has significantly increased due to the crisis, with approximately one-half of the investment-grade market already having a triple-B rating.
  • This means that financial companies are unable to quickly convert any assets that they hold into ready cash without affecting the market price.

Addressing the Challenges and Opportunities of COVID-19

  • U.S. banks and wealth investment firms have established business continuity and contingency plans to ensure they remain sustainable even after the crisis. For instance, employees are working from home or from split work sites to avoid unnecessary risks. This enables them to stay safe while they continue to provide services to their clients.
  • Banks have requested industry regulators such as SEC to lighten capital requirements and rules of financial reporting so that firms can have some relief during the crisis.
  • Conversely, banks are using the crisis as an opportunity to extend loans to hard-hit borrowers and to renegotiate the terms of loans. This will enable customers to survive the crisis with the help of their banks, and enable banks to maintain customer loyalty in the long term.

Research Strategy

We searched through U.S. business reports and articles to find information on financial institutions' strategies in handling the COVID-19 crisis. From there we collected information on the challenges that the institutions were facing due to the crisis and used these as examples that demonstrate the various impacts of COVID-19 in the industry.


Part
04
of eight
Part
04

COVID-19: Retail Industry Impact

The impact that COVID-19 is having on the US retail industry includes the closure of stores, a decline in traffic as Americans forego buying nonessential goods, and an increase in online sales for health products. To address the reduction in the supply of masks from its Chinese manufacturer, Debrief Me started manufacturing masks in its Brooklyn-based production facility.

US Retailers are Closing Stores

  • According to WWD, one impact that COVID-19 is having on the US retail industry is that it has led to the temporary closure of retail stores. Several major retailers in the U.S. have announced that they are temporarily closing stores to assist in reducing the spread of COVID-19. These include Nike, Nordstrom, H&M, Apple, Macy’s, Chanel, Walmart, Ralph Lauren, Lululemon, Sephora, and Glossier.
  • Glossier was among the first companies to close its retail stores due to COVID-19. As per The Verge, the retailer has closed its shops in New York, Atlanta, and Los Angeles for two weeks, beginning on the 12th of March. It will pay employees for the closure period.
  • The CEO of Glossier, Emily Weiss, stated that the shop closures meant that the company had sacrificed some of its business goals for the sake of public health.
  • Tuft & Needle, which primarily operates online as a direct-to-consumer business, is also closing its six retail stores in cities such as Seattle, Scottsdale, and Raleigh.
  • The bra selling retailer ThirdLove also closed its pop-up store in New York, with CEO Heidi Zak stating that the uncertainty brought about by COVID-19 had forced the company to change its strategy, and it no longer "planned to support a retail strategy for the business.

Reduced Traffic as Americans Stop Buying Nonessential

  • According to Retail Dive, another impact that COVID-19 is having on the US retail industry is that Americans are foregoing the purchase of nonessential items. This has led to a decline in traffic and reduced the volume of sales. Statistics from Morgan Stanley revealed that total retail traffic in early March fell by 9.1%, retail traffic for luxury items decreased by 14.7%, and retail traffic for apparel declined by 3.9%.
  • Retail Dive states that for essential retailers, such as pharmacies and groceries, traffic is predictably up. However, traffic for non-essentials has decreased around 30%-40%, and the situation is likely to worsen and continue for most of 2020. Many retailers for nonessential goods are lowering their sales forecasts for 2020 as a result.

Low Supply of Retail Goods

  • Another impact that COVID-19 is having on the US retail industry is that retailers are facing stock shortages. According to CNBC, the disruption in the supply chain is already affecting the shipment of items to retailers to sell during the back-to-school season. Many retailers make most of their profits during holidays, and if COVID-19 continues to spread, it could affect the holidays and the profits they make.
  • China, which has been severely affected by COVID-19, plays a vital role in getting items onto the shelves of retailers in the U.S. CNBC states that around 20% of the supply chain for retailers in the U.S. are exposed to the situation in China.
  • Some consumers have reacted to the low supply of goods by hoarding household essentials. Panic buying poses a challenge to retailers’ supply chains as "store shelves are cleared more quickly than usual and workers must race to keep up." The National Retail Federation and the Retail Industry Leaders Association have also urged consumers to shop responsibly and stop hoarding household essentials.

Increased Online Sales for Health Products

  • COVID-19 is increasing sales for health products in the U.S. According to Digital Commerce 360, "online sales have increased 52% compared with the same time frame a year ago, and the number of online shoppers has increased 8.8%" since COVID-19 started spreading, as per data from Quantum Metric. Bloomreach, a site search provider, observed an increase in sales for its retailer clients like Albertsons Cos.
  • Compared to previous weeks, COVID-19 has led to a 590% increase in sales for masks, a 420% increase in sales for hand sanitizers, a 184% increase in sales for Clorox/Lysol wipes, a 178% increase in sales for disinfectants, and a 151% increase in sales for gloves, among other items.
  • Debrief Me, which sells masks on DebriefMe.com, revealed that its sales have grown 10 times since the coronavirus threat became public.

How Companies are Addressing the Challenges / Opportunities

  • Debrief Me sells masks from a Chinese manufacturer. According to the retailer’s founder and CEO, Matt E Silver, when supply chain issues began to arise, the retailer was able to think ahead and “moved its products from China to its Georgia fulfillment center before the factories began to shut down in China.”
  • Although production resumed at the company’s China factory, it is not working at full capacity. This is because some workers have not returned to work and products are trickling in slowly. Debrief Me has tried to address the challenge by starting the manufacture of masks in its Brooklyn-based production facility last week.
  • It also plans to expand production to other parts of the U.S., which will help it to diversify its dependency on mask supply from outside the U.S.
  • To address the low supply of goods and panic buying by consumers, some retailers have limited the number of items every customer can buy. H-E-B and Wegmans have prohibited customers from buying more than 12 popular food items, such as pasta, milk, bread, eggs, and frozen vegetables. Walmart is allowing its managers to limit purchases and has reduced opening hours to provide staff with enough time to restock shelves.
  • Target, Publix, and Kroger are also limiting how many COVID-19-related items customers can purchase. Target is limiting customers to six hand sanitizers and disinfectant wipes, while Publix is limiting the purchase of sanitizers, facial tissue, and masks to two.
Part
05
of eight
Part
05

COVID-19: Restaurant Industry Impact

The restaurant industry is one of the worst-hit sectors by the coronavirus impact. The impact has manifested in the form of low sales volume, supply and demand issues, as well as supply chain issues.

Sales Volume

  • New York restaurants have experienced a 30% decline in sales and cancellations have gone up by 45%.
  • More restaurants continue to close down, albeit temporarily, due to the low sales volume recorded. They include fine dining temples such as Le Bernadin and Daniel, neighborhood restaurants such as Cervo’s and The Fly, among others.
  • In Seattle, approximately 40 restaurants have had to close down due to a decline in sales. Some of these restaurants include 13 restaurants of chef Tom Douglas.
  • High-end restaurants have also not been spared. Renowned restaurants such as chef Eduardo Jordan’s Salare and JuneBaby have been forced to pivot to delivery, while dining icons such as Canlis have turned into fast-casual drive-through restaurants.

Supply and Demand Issues

  • According to an article published by the New York Times, the food supply chain remains intact. However, some food supply is being channeled from restaurants to grocery stores, school cafeterias, and college campuses that have had to shut down due to low demand.
  • The food system in the U.S has always been big enough in terms of size and supply. However, the food supply chain continues to upend in restaurants, as consumers are avoiding eateries while clearing shelves in supermarkets.
  • Farm vendors who supply food items to restaurants have been turned away and have had to re-channel deliveries to grocery stores at a reduced price.
  • However, many restaurants are taking advantage of the rise in delivery demand, as customers are opting to stay at home and have food delivered to them. Domino's recently announced its plans to hire around 1,000 individuals spread across 100 stores situated in Chicago, and it predicts it will have up to 10,000 new job openings due to the outbreak.
  • Also benefiting from the growth in delivery options is Papa Johns, which is experiencing a hiring spree. The company's CEO Rob Lynch stated that the pizza-delivery segment is "uniquely set up to persevere during these challenging times."

Measures Taken to Address COVID-19 in the U.S Restaurant Industry

  • While the coronavirus has posed a threat to restaurants to a point where most have had to shut down, the few surviving ones are inventing solutions to stay afloat despite the crisis.

Sanitizing Surfaces

  • Restaurants are using proactive measures to combat coronavirus, by ensuring that surfaces are as clean as possible. Through EPA approved disinfectants, restaurants are effectively killing SARS-CoV-2.
  • Restaurants are paying special attention to surfaces that customers touch most. These surfaces include doors, light switches, air circulating systems, among others.
  • The US restaurant industry is also offering antibacterial gloves to their employees, especially in cases where they handle cash, while others have gone cashless to reduce the chances of spreading the deadly virus.
  • The Castellucci Hospitality Group-operated restaurants have recently gone cashless, including eateries such as Bar Mercado and Sugo Kitchen, while completely halting the use of cash transactions to help restrict the spread of COVID-19.
  • Meanwhile, the fast-casual establishment Heritage Eats scrubbed down its eating surfaces, door handles, and tables to sanitize areas consumers may come into contact with.

Online Ordering/Delivery

  • More restaurants and diners are encouraging online ordering to avoid human interaction while still maintaining their business.
  • Online ordering and delivery have also increased since many people are avoiding crowded places by working at home. Social distancing is expected to go on and consequently increase online ordering and delivery until a cure or solution for handling the pandemic is found.
  • Restaurants, through their online delivery services, are ensuring the highest standards of cleanliness to ensure that COVID-19 is not spread through contaminated food or containers. These standards are achieved by "closely following local and international health authority guidance."
  • Many restaurants have began offering food delivery supplied by Grubhub, Uber Eats, DoorDash, Food Dudes, and Eat Streets in an effort to improve demand and encourage consumers to continue ordering food. These restaurants include Author’s Kitchen + Bar, Wooden Nickel Sports Bar, and Rico's Family Restaurant, as well as fast food chains like McDonald's, KFC, Arby's, etc.
Part
06
of eight
Part
06

COVID-19: Automotive Industry Impact

The Coronavirus (COVID-19) breakout has led to a decline in sales in the automotive industry. The demand for new vehicles has gone down as more people are staying at home to prevent the spread of the virus. General Motors (GM), Fiat Chrysler, and Ford have suspended production of automotive in the United States.

Impact of COVID-19 on the Automotive Industry

  • According to ALG, in a scenario where the automotive industry in the United States makes a recovery by April 2020, new vehicle sales will be around 16.4 million, a decrease of 500,000 units, or an equivalent of 2.9% decline from the initial forecast made before the Coronavirus crisis.
  • If Coronavirus continues to spread for a longer period, new light vehicles sales will be around 14.5 million, a decrease of 2.4 million vehicles, or an equivalent of 14.2%, according to ALG.
  • Coronavirus has affected consumer confidence and vehicle inventory availability in the United States, which in turn has impacted the automotive supply and demand levels. Fewer vehicles will be sold in 2020 than what was projected at the beginning of the year.
  • General Motors (GM), Fiat Chrysler, and Ford have had to suspend production of automotive in the United States, Europe, and North America as a result of Coronavirus pandemic. This move will affect the ability of the industry to catch up on production levels and targets depending on how long the suspension will last.
  • In the United States, automotive sales of March are already decreased by 38,000 vehicles, and the decline is expected to continue. Seattle saw an 18% decrease in automotive sales while San Francisco had a 17% decline.
  • According to Adam Jonas, auto sales in the United States could reduce by 9% as consumers will choose to delay non-essential vehicle purchases.
  • People with cars are bound to drive around more as a result of reduced mass transit systems, which will increase the mileage on vehicles, thereby increasing the servicing needs. Automotive servicing departments in the United States will have an increased volume of customers, the longer the Coronavirus pandemic extends.
  • A prolonged slowdown in the automotive industry will result in a 15% year-over-year decrease in sales in the year 2020 in the United States.
  • The COVID-19 virus was confirmed in Michigan, which caused shortages in the supply chain. Michigan represents around 17% of the United States' automotive output and represented 4.3% of the United States' manufacturing GDP in the year 2018, according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.
  • Automakers in the United States, including Fiat Chrysler, General Motors, and Tesla, have been struggling to obtain parts for manufacturing operations form Chinese Suppliers since the Coronavirus breakout.
  • According to Dziczek, the United States automotive industry should expect more disruptions of United States sources, from demand crisis to supply crisis.
  • The supply chain disruption in the automotive industry and productivity downturn is already affecting supply, new-car demand, and vehicle registrations in the United States. According to Nagle, if the United States shuts down automotive sales for a month, 1.5 million units will be lost.
  • Due to the expected increase in automotive servicing needs, vehicle servicing companies are considering lengthening their hours of operation.

How Companies are Addressing the Impact

  • According to Automotive News, Volkswagen closed down its United States plant on the 16TH March 2020 to allow for cleaning of the plant as a measure to prevent the spread of COVID-19 virus. The company will pay its employees for the time off.
  • Volkswagen, United States, has been the first automotive assembly plant to shut down as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic. The shut down is more of a precautionary move to prevent the spread of the virus. Other OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers) are expected to shut down as well, which will cause further disruption in the automotive supply chain and production.
  • Due to the Coronavirus outbreak, the Volkswagen Company is experiencing logistics and production problems, according to Reuters. Around 7,000 employees in the company might be laid off, and the stoppage could go on for six weeks.
  • Some automotive manufacturing companies intend to combat the effects of COVID-19 to their businesses by providing their office employees with the necessary tools to work from home, implementing travel bans, and increasing the availability and supply of sanitation materials to ensure continuity of business.
  • In the United States, some automotive companies like Ford and General Motors have enacted new visitor protocols in a bid to reduce the exposure of employees to the COVID-19 virus.
  • To attract consumers, vehicle companies in the United States are now providing lucrative offers on their vehicles. For example, Ford Company and General Motors are offering new vehicle financing programs to increase sales in the middle of the COVID-19 outbreak. For new vehicle purchase, Ford announced that the customers have the option to delay the first payment for up to 3 months while General Motors is offering 0% financing for seven years.
  • The United Auto Workers (UAW), Fiat Chrysler (FCA), and Ford Motor Company in the United States have come up with a "COVID-A9/Coronavirus task force" to implement strategies to protect its warehouse employees and automotive manufacturing from the adverse effects of COVID-19 in the three companies.

Research Strategy

Your research team scoured through credible websites and databases to find information on the impact of COVID-19 on the automotive industry in the United States. We were able to find extensive data and insights on the subject, how the Coronavirus breakout has affected the manufacturing, sales, and the supply chain of automotive and how the companies in the industry are addressing the challenges.
Part
07
of eight
Part
07

COVID-19: Pharmaceutical Industry Impact

The COVID-19 pandemic has wide-ranging impacts on the pharmaceutical industry. The impacts of COVID-19 on the U.S. pharmaceutical industry include a shortage of drugs, disruption of the U.S. drug supply chain, and disruption of pharmaceutical event attendance and conferences.

Shortage of Drugs

Disruption of the U.S. Drug Supply Chain

Disruption of Pharmaceutical Event Attendance and Conferences

Research Strategy

To find information about how COVID-19 is impacting the U.S. pharmaceutical industry, the research team consulted trusted articles, websites, surveys, and industry expert analysis. A factor was considered an impact if it is directly affecting pharmaceutical-related manufacturing, distribution, availability, and events. Based on the criteria and from these resources, COVID-19 is impacting the US pharmaceutical industry by causing a shortage of drugs, disruption of the US drug supply chain, and disruption of pharmaceutical event attendance and conferences.

Part
08
of eight
Part
08

COVID-19: Insurance Industry Impact

A major impact across all insurance industries is the need to work remotely and continue serving customers throughout the COVID-19 crisis. It appears insurance providers are adapting well to offering remote services. Home insurance providers may see minimal changes, including a rise in home business coverage requests as people work more from home. Other than changing to remote service, the auto insurance industry thus far is seeing no impact. The health insurance industry is seeing the most dramatic changes, with new regulations being imposed frequently during the crisis, primarily in regard to offering free COVID-19 testing. Although businesses are being forced to close or limit operations, it appears that business insurance policies severely limit claims options due to viruses, and business insurance providers are not heavily impacted at this point. Life insurance providers will need to honor existing policy claims for COVID-19 related deaths, yet companies are adjusting their application processes to make exclusions from COVID-19 moving forward.

Home Insurance

Auto Insurance

  • There is no anticipated impact to the cost of auto insurance due to COVID-19.
  • Agents need to adjust to working remotely and helping customers file claims remotely, and customers should expect longer hold times when calling insurance providers.
  • Similar to other companies adapting to remote operations, State Farm is providing a large amount of COVID-19 related information on their website, including their efforts to protect their employees and customers, listing remote access tools for customers, outlining employee protection policies, and a letter from the CEO addressing the situation. State Farm is telling customers to file claims online, through their website, mobile app, or via phone.

Health Insurance

  • Health insurance companies are being impacted due to new regulations by federal and local governments as the situation changes rapidly.
  • The Families First Coronavirus Response Act, a new law by Congress, requires most private health insurers to cover COVID-19 tests during this emergency with no cost sharing and no prior authorization. The law also includes testing associated visits to physicians offices, urgent care centers, and emergency rooms.
  • Some states are requiring insurance companies to cover COVID-19 tests.
  • Many private health insurers are voluntarily including COVID-19 tests in their coverage.
  • United Healthcare is expanding its services to include free COVID-19 tests at approved locations, waiving copays, coinsurance, and deductibles for testing-associated visits through June 18, offering early prescription refills, free telehealth services, and a number of reference sources on their website.
  • The COVID-19 crisis is creating challenges for healthcare revenue, billing procedures, and raising questions around patient financial responsibility, all of which are changing rapidly and causing strain on the healthcare and health insurance systems.
  • Companies such as Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan are closing walk-in centers, and requiring employees to work remotely at least partially in an effort to protect employees.

Business Insurance

  • Business insurance policies generally do not cover loss due to viruses, and therefore should expect minimal impact. Many exclusions exist in business policies, a common one being exclusions from mold, bacteria, and viruses.
  • Specialized policies in the hospitality industry may have coverage options due to viruses such as COVID-19, although applicable claims are mostly related to "extra expenses associated with evacuation, disinfection and testing after a building has been closed due to the introduction of a virus, and may not extend to any loss of income."
  • In order to file a commercial property insurance claim, most businesses would have to prove a direct physical loss, such as a person infected with COVIC-19 inside the business. Given the extreme measures ordered by federal and state governments and companies forcing employees to work remotely, this will likely mitigate the risk of these policies coming into effect on any large scale.
  • Like the majority of the industry, companies are working to serve customers via phone, website, chat, app, and email, including Liberty Mutual, which is now working 100% remotely.

Life Insurance

  • For policies in place prior to COVID-19, policies would cover death from COVID-19.
  • Some companies are creating provisions to limit their liability for COVID-19 in new policy applications. These provisions include: travel to China within the past 30 days, future plans to travel to China, recent trips to the Wuhan Province, or past and future travel to high risk areas such as Hong Kong, Italy, Iran, Japan, Mongolia, South Korea, Taiwan, and Vietnam.
  • In an effort to be transparent and comforting during this unsettling time, Haven Life Insurance is trying to reassure policyholders by publicly and plainly addressing questions about COVID-19 and their life insurance policies. Haven Life is stating that existing policies will cover COVID-19, provided that applicants were honest in their health and travel plans during the application process.
Sources
Sources

From Part 01
Quotes
  • "Consumer packaged goods (CPG) are items used daily by average consumers that require routine replacement or replenishment, such as food, beverages, clothes, tobacco, makeup, and household products"
Quotes
  • "shoppers shift to the second stage: reactive health management, in which they focus on purchases to prevent catching the virus and spreading to others, such as face masks, hand sanitizers and disinfectant products"
Quotes
  • "Early Thursday, Walmart, Target, and Amazon were all out of stock online of many toilet paper brands and varieties, according to reviews of the retailers' websites"
  • "At one point, two toilet paper varieties became available for delivery through Walmart's site, but both sold out within 10 minutes, according to frequent checks of the website"
Quotes
  • "The replenishment cycle is going to be the real test here"
  • "But this is a different situation: This is serial hoarding — and no part of the machine that supplies consumers is geared for this"
Quotes
  • "an industry group representing paper product makers, noted the industry is working hard to respond to the sudden spike in demand"
Quotes
  • "Customers can now opt-in to “Leave at My Door Delivery” as part of their delivery options at checkout, and can also provide more specific delivery instructions like a gate code or apartment number"
Quotes
  • "We don't know which way this is going to go, so if we can help, we really want to be that for this community and really rally together"
Quotes
  • "With the virus and everything been shut down, not only the fireworks factories"
Quotes
  • "We access 387 suppliers in China that ship to us globally more than 9,000 different materials, impacting approximately 17,600 different finished product items"
Quotes
  • "Social distancing is a key practice to contain COVID-19. Therefore, we are asking all NA (North American) employees who are able to do so to collaborate with your managers on a plan to work from home through the end of March,"
From Part 02
Quotes
  • "Starting Tuesday, T-Mobile is closing about 80% of its stores. T-Mobile said it would leave 20% of its stores open "in locations designed to be within a 30-minute drive for most customers." And the company added that it will maintain employees' "target income even during these initial closures this month." "
  • "Similarly, Sprint said it will temporarily close around 71% of its retail stores across the country. Meantime, Verizon said it will close its stores on Sundays, reduce store hours on other days, and limit the number of employees and customers in those stores. "
  • " AT&T hasn't indicated plans to close stores, but Verizon warned Tuesday in an SEC filing that the outbreak of COVID-19 could have a "material" impact on its financial and operational results. "Public and private sector policies and initiatives to reduce the transmission of COVID-19, such as the imposition of travel restrictions, the promotion of social distancing and the adoption of work-from-home and online learning by companies and institutions, could impact our operations and the amount and ways our customers use our networks and other products and services,"
  • "As daytime internet usage increases, core networks should be able to handle the load," Craig Matsumoto, a senior analyst with S&P Global Market Intelligence's 451 Research (and a former Light Reading editor), said in a statement. "These access networks and authentication systems have already been stress-tested somewhat, either when families were together for the holidays, or during evenings when entire neighborhoods begin streaming video and playing online games. The rise in working and studying from home will increase the total bandwidth traversing the Internet, but it might not cause as many problems as we think." "
  • " However, there are some small indications that the construction of wireless networks, at least in the US, could be affected by the virus. "We have now become aware that at least one tower company has imposed a two-week suspension of field service, including work on repack-related construction, while it evaluates the evolving situation," the FCC noted in a filing Tuesday, without identifying the tower company. "We anticipate that there may be additional suspensions of service and other developments in this unfolding situation that may impact the transition." "
Quotes
  • "In support of government social distancing recommendations and to limit gatherings of people, we had already announced the temporary closure of indoor mall stores. Now, we are further reducing the number of company-owned retail stores we have open. Starting tomorrow March 17th, we will close about 80% of our store locations, leaving a critical mass of 20% of stores open to provide important service to customers. The closed stores will remain closed until at least March 31st,"
  • "Despite these closures and distancing measures, we are implementing an approach for our hourly Retail employees, who are on the frontlines serving our customers, to maintain their target income even during these initial closures this month."
  • "Those remaining 20% of stores are distributed across the country and designed to be within a 30-minute drive for most customers in each market. They will operate on reduced schedules and only stay open for eight hours each day – from 10 am to 6 pm local time for most stores. "
  • "We continue to focus on hygiene and sanitization efforts in the stores that remain open and intend continue deep cleaning, keep hygiene and cleaning products in stock through shortages and make shifts in staffing to relieve our teams. This is one more way we can create a safer environment for our employees who do keep working."
Quotes
  • "We will temporarily close approximately 71% of Sprint retail stores across the country starting today, March 17. We strongly urge customers visit sprint.com or their My Sprint mobile app for service and sales needs. However, if a store visit is necessary, please visit storelocator.sprint.com to find an available store near you. While this was not an easy decision, maintaining safety and promoting personal wellness in our store environments makes this the right thing to do. Because wireless communication is so important during this critical time, Sprint is leaving open certain locations dispersed throughout the country to serve the needs of our communities, including service and repair locations. We have also attempted to keep stores open within a reasonable distance from where most customers and employees live and work. In addition, all of Sprint Express at Walgreens locations will close temporarily, as well as stores within indoor malls and all stores in Puerto Rico (per the mandate of the local government)."
Quotes
  • "“That’s a minority, probably directionally 10-20% are closing altogether,” Moore said of Verizon stores."
Quotes
  • "During this pandemic we are all being encouraged to practice social distancing to slow down the spread and flatten the curve. Last week, we implemented a work-from-home strategy and are now rapidly expanding it to include more members of our team."
  • "We know this is a difficult time and to alleviate the impact that some of our customers may experience, earlier this week we announced that for the next 60 days, we will waive late fees our residential or small business customers may incur because of the economic circumstances related to the coronavirus. And we will not terminate service to any of our residential or small business customers because of their inability to pay their bills due to hardships caused by the coronavirus."
Quotes
  • "The coronavirus pandemic has already started to hit American pocketbooks, with nearly 1 in 5 households experiencing a layoff or a reduction in work hours, according to a new NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll. As people stay home, avoid crowds and cancel plans to avoid spreading the disease, it's rapidly causing a contraction in economic activity that is hurting a wide range of businesses. "
Quotes
  • "Verizon will also waive activation fees on new lines of service and upgrade fees starting March 18. This applies to all purchases and service-only activations made through Verizon digital channels, such as verizonwireless.com and the My Verizon app."
  • "Verizon’s fiber optic and wireless networks have been able to meet the shifting demands of customers and continue to perform well. In small pockets where there has been a significant increase in usage, our engineers have quickly added capacity to meet customers’ demand."
Quotes
  • "A new partnership between Verizon and companies connected to Dish Network is yet another unprecedented development arising from the spread of the new coronavirus. Verizon received approval from the FCC on Wednesday to borrow spectrum owned by two companies connected to Dish. Under the new agreement, Northstar Wireless LLC and SNR Wireless LicenseCo will temporarily loan their AWS-3 spectrum licenses to Verizon at no cost "in order to provide additional capacity to Verizon customers across the country," according to the FCC. "
Quotes
  • " T-Mobile is multiplying its low-band 4G capacity by up to six times to support people working and schooling from home during the COVID-19 crisis. The massive growth comes in the 600MHz band, and it shows a dark secret of US wireless—much of our valuable wireless spectrum is hogged by companies that aren't using it. T-Mobile's expanded capacity comes by borrowing unused licenses from Dish, Comcast, and investment firms that haven't been doing anything with them. "
  • " T-Mobile is also opening up roaming for Sprint customers, which will mostly benefit folks in rural areas. "We’ve taken steps to expand 4G LTE data roaming to Sprint customers by expanding roaming in select areas," the company tells me. That likely means Sprint customers will be able to fall over to the T-Mobile network in areas where Sprint doesn't have much native coverage. "
Quotes
  • "All major US phone carriers have pledged to keep customers connected to their mobile lines even if they can’t pay their bills during the coronavirus outbreak. FCC chairman Ajit Pai introduced a pledge on March 13 that Verizon, Sprint, AT&T, T-Mobile and other providers have affirmed, bringing the total to 185 providers according to a news release. The FCC's Keep Americans Connected Pledge asks signees to help customers in three ways for at least the next 60 days: not cut off service to residential or small business customers who can’t pay their bills due to coronavirus disruptions, waive late fees incurred due to outbreak conditions, and open Wi-Fi hotspots to “any American who needs them.” "
From Part 06
Quotes
  • "Volkswagen (VW) is closing its US assembly plant for one day on 16 March as a precautionary measure, according to Automotive News."
Quotes
  • "ALG projects that in a quick recovery scenario, where the economy and auto industry recover by the end of April 2020 back to levels prior to COVID-19 disruption, new vehicle sales will reach 16.4 million, down -500,000 vehicles or -2.9% from ALG’s initial 2020 forecast and down -3.8% from 2019 sales."
Quotes
  • "And the decision by Ford, General Motors, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and other automakers to suspend production could have an impact on the industry's ability to catch up on production levels depending on the length of that suspension."
Quotes
  • "Auto analyst Adam Jonas of Morgan Stanley predicts that U.S. auto sales could slip 9 percent as customers opt to delay non-essential vehicle purchases. "
Quotes
  • "The COVID-19 crisis could cause U.S. new vehicle sales to fall by as many as 2.4 million units from 2019 according to research released Monday by ALG"
Quotes
  • "The coronavirus has landed on the U.S. auto industry’s doorstep as Michigan officials late Tuesday night confirmed the state’s first two cases of the disease. While America’s largest auto plants have not yet been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, supply chain shortages and the increase in domestic cases, including Michigan, which represents at least 17% of America’s automotive output, add to concerns that it’s not a matter of if, but when, U.S. auto operations will be impacted. "
Quotes
  • "Car companies in the US are seeking to stimulate activity with attractive deals for consumers. GM and Ford are offering new vehicle financing programs designed to spur sales amid the coronavirus outbreak. GM is offering 0% financing for seven years - two years more than the recent programs. Ford has announced a program giving customers who buy new vehicles the option to delay their first payment for 90 days."
Quotes
  • "In the automotive sector, the downturn in productivity and the disruption to the automotive supply chain is already impacting both new-car demand, supply and, in turn, registrations."
Quotes
  • "“If we shut down sales for a month, we could lose [one to] 1.5 million units nationally in the U.S.” "
Quotes
  • "Currently, IHS anticipates US car sales this year will decline to 15.4 million vehicles, from 16.5 million a year ago. But that estimate predates Wednesday’s closures, and Nagle acknowledges it likely will decline further."