week commencing 29/03/20:

This week the world quite rightly has only one topic on its mind. The insurance industry faces attempts by US senators to make it cover coronavirus claims retroactively, while a number of industry groups on both sides of the Atlantic wrote to their governments to suggest the creation of pooled pandemic funds with government backing.  For the best of the rest read on.

US senators and public demand that insurers rewrite contracts

There has been significant public pressure in the US this week for insurers to rewrite policies so that they will cover business interruption caused by the pandemic External-link. [Financial Times]. However, the consequences of changing the rules could be catastrophic. External-link. [Financial Times]

US groups propose public-private pandemic backstop

Marsh CEO John Doyle has proposed the creation of a programme to provide pandemic backstop cover with federal backing, making the point that claims from the pandemic are likely to be too big for private companies to bear alone. External-link. [Trading Risk].  Meanwhile, five US insurance bodies, along with 13 other industry bodies, have written to the US government proposing the creation of a federal fund to distribute money to companies at risk of collapse from coronavirus. External-link. [Insurance Journal]

ABI calls on UK government for new pandemic pool

The UK’s ABI has suggested a pool or backstop mechanism for pandemic insurance cover citing Flood Re and Pool Re as good precedents. External-link. [ABI]

Pandemic is a capital issue, not a coverage one

Willis Towers Watson believes the biggest impact on insurers from the pandemic is likely to be the reduction in portfolio values, and hence reduction in available capital, rather than the cost of claims. External-link. [1st View April 2020]

Pandemic cover could become a new insurance class

The (re)insurance market will see widespread change following the coronavirus pandemic, including the possibility that it could become a new standalone class of insurance. External-link. [Insurance Insider]

Construction project delays could give rise to COVID 19 claims

With delays inevitable, a number of elements of typical contract wordings could give rise to valid BI claims, including ‘delay to start up’, ‘denial of access’, ‘supplier contract’ failure and ‘force majeure’. External-link. [Insurance Insider]

Lloyd’s provides guidance on COVID coverage

The Lloyd’s market has committed to paying all valid claims as quickly as possible.  Lloyd’s has also shared guidance on coverage for pandemic claims this week. External-link. [Insurance Day]

Willis Towers Watson launches pandemic tracker

The Global Perils Diagnostics tool has been updated to include state-by-state and country-by-country statistics on coronavirus, alongside the insured value of client property in that region. External-link. [Commercial Risk Online]

The positive side of life

We were cheered along by a selection of forty positive stories that have come to light during the coronavirus news storm, including the legendary Dolly Parton’s investment in coronavirus research. External-link. [Elle Magazine]

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