Insurers in the Spotlight Over Coronavirus

Travel, business cover, and life insurance are the lines to be most affected.
Insurers in the Spotlight Over Coronavirus
February 7, 2020

Epidemics and pandemics are generally excluded from insurance coverage, and as the coronavirus spreads, many companies and individuals have grown concerned that their claims will not be covered. Even if the virus is covered, payouts will vary by policy, and experts say it is too early to make estimates about what the overall cost to the insurance industry might be.

Travel, business cover, and life insurance are the lines to be most affected by the outbreak. Meanwhile, an advisory notice issued by Allianz said airlines should refund the cost of cancelled flights, while credit card providers might also offer coverage for losses. After that, it said, customers should look at “the terms and conditions of their travel insurance policy.”

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Companies and events are also likely to look to their insurance. But the question of whether insurance will cover these costs is likely to be contentious as insurance companies, policyholders, and lawyers pore over the meaning of specific clauses in contracts. Analysts at AM Best believe that reinsurers could face higher levels of risk related to the ongoing Coronavirus outbreak than their primary life & health counterparts.


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