Aon’s London office has announced that companies can now insure themselves for costs incurred if their building or the vicinity is officially closed due to a pandemic.
Aon launched the coverage as cases of the H1N1 flu virus are expected to increase this winter. The stand alone policy reimburses companies for wages, fixed costs and extra expenses if they are unable to access their buildings, according to Aon.
“After the H1N1 outbreak in April 2009, both the Mexican and Argentinean governments shut their central business districts, public buildings and educational institutes to prevent the spread of infection,” the company noted.
“If the UK or other governments take similar action in the event that the pandemic escalates, companies may not be able to rely on their standard business interruption insurance policies which traditionally restrict cover to disruption caused only by physical damage, or notifiable diseases of which H1N1 is often not included and is subject to low limits.”
Aon said it believes its new product is “the first available to all industry groups, rather than solely focusing on hospitals and the healthcare industry.”
The brokers said that retail, transport and manufacturing are likely to be the most affected sectors as they rely on public access and staff on site, whereas most financial services employees, for example, are able to work from home.
Matt Harvey, senior wordings technician/broker at Aon for UK/Europe, said Aon’s coverage complements continuity plans to help companies recover the fixed costs of running the business in face of lower revenues. The policy covers costs for additional expenses such as decontamination and additional staff to ensure a business is up and running again as soon as possible after an official closure is lifted.
Cover can be adapted on a global, regional or single territory basis and companies also receive a free Business Continuity Management guide to assist in creating, implementing and testing reaction plans.
Source: Aon – www.aon.com
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