Author: Bill Wilson
We've been hearing about it for years now, about the allegedly very real possibility of a worldwide pandemic. Is the threat for real? And, if so, what have you done to prepare your agency to continue to operate in a highly infectious environment? If such an event occurs and impacts your business clients, are they insured for what could be a catastrophic loss of income?
Much has been written about bird flu and and swine flu (H1N1 virus), so there's no need to reinvent the wheel and now there are real concerns about Ebola as the virus is being seen in the United States. Below are links to a variety of resources that will enable your agency and your customers to better prepare for a possible pandemic. While our focus is often on insuring risk, we have to recognize that not all risk can or should be insured.
In general, there should be very little in the way of P&C coverages...property, business income, liability, and workers compensation. In addition to the inherent lack of coverage, ISO and insurers have and will introduce specific exclusions such as ISO's CP 01 40 07 06 - Exclusion of Loss Due to Virus or Bacteria.
The lack of P&C insurance coverage means that businesses, including your agency, must use alternative risk management techniques to deal with this exposure. This may include segregating exposures via shift work or telecommuting, in addition to a myriad of loss control methods. A good starting point is to use the "Business Pandemic Influenza Planning Checklist" found under "Risk Management Planning" below to inventory your current situation. Then the other resources linked below can be used to establish a pandemic disaster plan for your agency.
Insurance Implications in the News
Natalie DiBlasio, USA TODAY
*includes quote from Dave Evans, senior vice president of the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America, Inc.
"What about Ebola's impact on insurers?"
Bruce Kennedy, CBS Moneywatch
Risk Management Planning
USDHHS Centers for Disease Control
National Library of Medicine - National Institutes of Health
From IRMI LinkedIn board
“How would the GL form respond to an Ebola claim? I am thinking that there would be coverage absent a communicable disease exclusion but this just came up and I am just beginning my research."
The Big "I" Virtual University expert response:
ISO has the CG 21 32 05 09 - Communicable Disease Exclusion endorsement for the CGL policy that would do the trick. Their corresponding BOP endorsement is the BP 14 86 07 13. As I recall from the ISO CGL filing, the CG 21 32 was introduced in response to concerns about bird flu and SARS transmissions. Expect insurers to use such exclusionary endorsements.
2009 Swine Flu
Property and the H1N1 Virus: Is My Business Covered?
Infectious Disease in the Workplace White Paper
October 17, 2014
October 20, 2009