Insurers, banks cut customers some slack during outbreak

Customers wear face masks as they line up to enter a supermarket keeping social distancing following the government's measures to help stop the spread of the coronavirus, in Tel Aviv, Israel, Tuesday, April 7, 2020. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced Monday a complete lockdown over the upcoming Passover holiday …

Companies across every economic sector are suffering and most are withdrawing all financial projections with so much about the pandemic still unknown

The outbreak of the coronavirus has dealt a shock to the global economy with unprecedented speed. Following are developments Tuesday related to the global economy, the work place and the spread of the virus.


CUSTOMERS FIRST: The pandemic is sapping trillions from the economy and the ramifications for businesses, from banks to restaurants, is expected to be severe. Companies have also recognized their and many are extending a hand.

— Millions of one-time drivers are staying off the road. Allstate is sending shelter-in-place paybacks to customers, with most getting checks for 15% of their monthly premium in April and May. Auto and home owners customers with financial difficulties can delay two consecutive premium payments, and some will be allowed to pay what they can afford.

The insurer is sending out $600 million to customers, according to a regulatory filing.

— With thousands having lost jobs, JPMorgan Chase has done away with minimum payment requirements on credit cards and it’s waiving late fees. The bank will not report payment deferrals, such as late payments, to credit bureaus for up-to-date clients.

TABLED: Restaurants, particularly those that focus are dining rooms, are being by social distancing. Pick-up orders are increasing, but it’s not offsetting the loss of business.

— BJ’s Restaurants is laying off laid off about 16,000 workers. The casual-dining chain paid all hourly restaurant employees accrued, unused vacation and sick time, and gave short-term emergency paid time off to employees not otherwise eligible for sick pay benefits under state or local laws. BJ’s expects that it will recall those employees, but acknowledged it may close a number of locations, based on sales numbers.

The chain, with operations in 29 states, will not pay rent to leaseholders this month, according to a regulatory filing Tuesday, and will seek a restructuring of those agreements.

MARKETS: Global shares Tuesday, fueled by hopes the peak of the coronavirus pandemic surge may come soon. U.S. crude added 89 cents to $26.97 per barrel. It fell $2.26, or 8%, to settle at $26.08 a barrel Monday after surging nearly $7 last week. It started the year above $60 per barrel. Brent crude, the international standard, rose 55 cents to $33.50 a barrel.


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