A lot of questions are being asked in the insurance world this week regarding the impact of the H1N1 virus to insurance claims.
With the World Health organisation now classifying the virus at five out of six on the scale of pandemia, it only needs one more country to confirm inter human transmission for it to become the first Flu pandemic since 1968.
So what will be the impact on the Insurance World?
Insuranceblogger doesn’t beleive that we are going to see a doomsday viral situation much hyped by films like 28 Days later or Survivors, so the impact on on the life insurance fund will be negligable. In the developed world the largest risk to human life appears to be from the associated pnuemonia, which unless extremely aggressive is unlikely to kill more people than the average seasonal flu.
Like in 1968, the largest impact will be on the loss of business if large sections of the workforce are forced to take a couple of weeks off. It is also possible that businesses will be forced to close by the Government in a bid to stop transmission if there are sporadic outbreaks that can be controlled by quarantine and restrictive movement measures may be imposed by local authorities. If this becomes a fundamental risk, commercial insurance business interruption cover will not be in place.
If this situation occurs some sort of Government led compensation fund will need to be set up for the business interruption excess, or we could see more businesses going to the wall! Just what the doctor ordered in the middle of a recession!
On a personal level the millions of us who have personal sickness insurance in the form of ASU or protection products will be keen to know whether they are covered for the H1N1 virus.
We spoke to Simon Burgess, the managing director of Burgesses Insurance the UK’s leading provider of Sickness and Unemployment Insurance. He assured us that it has been confirmed by all his underwriters that all Burgesses clients are definitely covered in the event of contracting this variant of the flu.
……………. Anyone stil out there? …… hello?