Marsh, a global leader in insurance broking and innovative risk management solutions, today launches PathogenRX, the first insurance solution of its kind that provides financial protection to the global operations of US-based businesses affected by an infectious disease outbreak.
"Pandemics and epidemics are not your average risk. They may occur over several months, are often not confined to a specific region, and their unpredictability means they can scale, grow, and become quite costly to a range of businesses from hotels and restaurants to schools and airlines," said Martin South, President of Marsh's US and Canada Division.
Over the last several decades, diseases such as Zika, MERS, and SARS have had drastic financial impacts on a number of industries that depend on people moving freely without fear for their safety and health. One recent study found that 90% of Miami, Florida, businesses in an area hit especially hard by the 2016 Zika virus outbreak, experienced revenue and profit losses of as much as 40%. Up until now, businesses have had no way to measure the potential economic loss from a pandemic or epidemic and effectively protect their bottom lines.
To solve for this, Marsh, in collaboration with Munich Re, a leading global reinsurer, and Metabiota, a pioneer in epidemic risk modeling, have created PathogenRX, a fully integrated pandemic risk solution. Using triggers like Metabiota's new Pathogen Sentiment Index, which provides extensive analytics into infectious disease outbreaks, businesses can more confidently model their potential financial loss from an outbreak and protect against the threat through an insurance policy underwritten by Munich Re. The policy is highly customizable and can be tailored to provide coverage for specific expenses, geographies, types of disease, or portions of a calendar year.
"Metabiota's mission is to make the world more resilient to epidemics and to accomplish this means working with insurance industry leaders, like Marsh and Munich Re, to develop new offerings to minimize the economic repercussions that can result from infectious diseases," said Bill Rossi, CEO of Metabiota. "Our Pathogen Sentiment Index combines our team's in-depth scientific knowledge with a novel way to measure the potential impact to consumer travel and spending as a result of an outbreak and trigger the necessary resources to offset it."
"With PathogenRX, we are pushing the boundaries of insurability. Businesses now can better prepare for the potential of an epidemic or pandemic with a highly customizable risk modelling and transfer solution," said Gunther Kraut, Head of Epidemic Risk Solutions at Munich Re. "This joint effort is an important part in our continued strategic push for innovation. It will pave a new frontier for the insurance industry by helping businesses become more resolute to the evolving health threats facing the world."