Epidemics pose a threat to health, and are thus factored into life insurance, but they also often negatively affect a country’s economy (for example, through a big drop in tourism), so why are they not factored into general insurance?
Munich Re has joined forces with a company from San Francisco, Metabiota, which has developed epidemic risk analytics. Using these data analytics, it hopes to develop viable general insurance (and reinsurance) solutions to protect against this economic loss during times of an epidemic. This is very important for the recovery of economies after an epidemic has struck.
A recent example of an epidemic for which the insurance and reinsurance implications have been explored, is the Zika virus. Although the effects on existing life products have been looked into, hopefully in the future (if Munich Re’s attempts are successful), we will see more focus being placed on the risk solutions for the economic effects of such an epidemic.
For more information, see www.soa.org/library/newsletters/reinsurance-section-news/2016/march/rsn-2016-iss-84-zimmerman.aspx