June 22, 2021
Economy

Underwriters puzzle over how to make pandemics insurable again

When much of the global economy locked down last year, insurers, facing estimated losses of more than $100 billion globally, reached straight for their red pens to strike pandemic cover from all new business policies.

Denis Kessler, chairman and CEO of French reinsurer SCOR, summed it up when he told a recent conference that pandemic risk was like war.

“We exclude war – it’s not insurable,” he said.

But as industries spanning travel and hospitality to construction and manufacturing revert to a new normal, huge demand is causing insurers to figure out how they can put pandemic risk back in policies without making them prohibitively expensive.

One example is the film and television industry.

U.S. company SpottedRisk has devised a model built on years of data on the political and economic environment of film locations in 150 countries, as well as a year’s COVID-19 shutdown data, to come up…

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