Ebola policy creating interest


A ‘world-first’ policy aimed specifically at disruptions caused by the Ebola virus has been receiving healthy interest from Australian brokers, its underwriter says.

Earlier this month, Brooklyn Underwriting announced it had team with Ark Syndicate 4020 and Prospect at Lloyd’s to offer business interruption protection for Ebola-related shutdowns.

Aimed at places of public gathering – like medical centres, hotels, shopping centres and bars – the policy has limits ranging up to $5 million available.

Brooklyn Business Development Manager Tim Fairbrother says they have been receiving a healthy amount of interest in the policy.

“It’s very topical. It’s all over the news and a real threat already in many parts of the world,” Fairbrother says.

“Brokers have been asking a lot of questions.”

The current Ebola pandemic is centred in West Africa and has so far killed more than 5000.

LMI Group’s Professor Allan Manning says most existing business interruption insurance policies contain that include cover for infectious disease contain an exclusion for losses arising from a disease that is notifiable under the Quarantine Act 1908. This includes Ebola, SARS and bird flu.

“The issue is that a serious outbreak could affect the already weakened Australian economy to the point that the accumulated losses are so great that the insurance industry does not have the funds to cover such losses,” Manning says.