Many Global Firms, Excluded From Epidemic Insurance, Face Heavy Coronavirus Costs

 Wednesday, January 29, 2020

 Reuters

Many global companies from hotels and airlines to industrial houses are expected to have to foot the bill for disruptions caused by a new coronavirus in China, with epidemics usually excluded from insurance cover, experts said.

With 132 deaths in China and new cases being reported around the world, companies are set to face billions of dollars in losses linked to events and travel cancellations and closure of businesses, they said.

The virus originated in the city of Wuhan, forcing airlines to cancel flights and companies including Facebook and HSBC to suspend travel to China.

“For insurers, the bulk of the claims from this outbreak will come from businesses, mainly travel, hospitality and event firms, followed by mortality and healthcare costs,” said a Hong Kong-based insurance sector lawyer with a global law firm.

Risk modeling firm RMS said it was too early to estimate insured losses.
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