A Pandemic In the Making: Losses Related To Coronavirus Raise Insurance Coverage Questions And Concerns

 Monday, March 9, 2020

 CLM Magazine

The story behind coronavirus reads like a Hollywood disaster movie: It appears to be a mutated virus with no available vaccination; over 50 million people in China have been quarantined; over 60,000 people are infected; over 1,300 people are dead; global businesses operating in affected zones in China have shut down or significantly restricted operations; and health experts project the outbreak may not peak until April 2020.

Given this already significant impact of coronavirus, policyholders and the insurance industry alike are watching and considering whether business interruption or event cancellation insurance benefits may be available. Let’s take a look at what coverages may come into play.

Statistically, the common flu would appear to be a greater threat than coronavirus. Globally, depending on the year, influenza generally infects hundreds of millions annually with between 500,000 and one million deaths.

Unlike the flu, however, there is not a vaccination for coronavirus, which carries with it the potential to become a global pandemic (a pandemic is a global disease outbreak that occurs when a new virus emerges for which people have little-or-no immunity and for which there is no vaccine).

Coronavirus is believed to have originated at a market in Wuhan, China that sold animals for human consumption.
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