The world’s largest insurance broker has announced a new product.  AON Corp has established a new policy specifically for companies that are concerned about losses from shut down and interruption due to the H1N1 flu (aka Swine flu).  In an e-mail statement to Crain’s Chicago Business, the organization announced a stand alone policy that will provide coverage for lost wages, fixed costs and extra expenses when associated with this flu virus. 

Most insurance providers offerring business continuity policies have excluded coverage for buildings closed due to the flu.   According to the article in Crain’s,  pricing information and terms and conditions were not provided.

With the H1N1 virus getting so much attention these days, and President Obama declaring a national emergency over this potential pandemic, it is wise to consider options to protect your company, and this specific insurance coverage is one of those options. 

Points to consider with this policy would be the terms and exclusions established by the policy, the coverage that is provided, and naturally the cost of the policy.   Additionally I believe an understanding of the nature of your business and the impact to your business if you were not able to access your physical location are another key component.   In many cases companies have established alternative sites, and work options as part of a larger continuity program (You have developed some basic contingency and/or recover plan I hope).

Last year, there were instances of the government closing sections of a city down because of flu fears, and the article hints this would be one of the items that would be covered.  I would assume that this would also cover costs in the event the building management closed the facility due to the flu outbreak. 

Based on this best guess of coverage, folks in the retail sector would be hardest hit and, depending on the cost, could provide economic relief.  Service industries could also be affected because of the locations of many offices in major cities.

If this type of insurance coverage is important to you, contact your insurance broker or AON directly for additional information and costs. 

If you haven’t developed your pandemic continuity plan, a good place to start is by reviewing our previous posting  on preparing for the pandemic published earlier this year.