Property Casualty 360 reports on Metabiota's Top 3 Industries Most at Risk from Epidemics

Infectious diseases can and should be insured so that resources can be set aside to offset the impact. In 2018, there were close to 100 documented cases of disease outbreaks around the world, according to the World Health Organization. An epidemic outbreak puts countless lives at risk, but it’s also a direct threat to many companies. Such outbreaks often shake the stability of a country’s economy. In Latin American and the Caribbean, for example, the Zika virus alone may end up costing up to $18 billion. The South Korean MERS outbreak in 2015 caused a 40% drop in tourism, costing the country an estimated loss of $900 million in revenue. According to a recent survey by management consulting firm Protiviti, board members and C-suite executives want to devote additional time or resources to risk management efforts in 2019. Fortunately for them, Metabiota unveiled its predictions for the industries that are most likely to be impacted by a health crisis in the year ahead. The epidemic risk-modeling company runs large-scale epidemic simulations that factor how such an epidemic might start and spread around the world, where it might go, how many people might be infected, and more. “As we get better at understanding how outbreak events have, and could, play out, we also are getting better at translating that information into business impacts,” Dr. Patrick Ayscue, director of epidemiology at Metabiota, said in a press release. Nita Madhav, vice president of data science at Metabiota, says that Metabiota’s Pathogen Sentiment Index offers a “new way to quantify the potential for business interruption losses” because it measures the human impact of an epidemic outbreak and the economic impact caused by “fear-induced behavioral changes.” To continue reading, please click here.

Carrier Management Highlights Metabiota's 2019 Epidemic Risk Insights

In a recent brief, Metabiota announces the delivery of a comprehensive methodology for quantifying the potential impacts of epidemics so that the risk can be understood and policies can be delivered to protect countries and corporations from financial setbacks related to a health crisis. Within this 2-page brief, Metabiota identifies industries prone to experience insurable business interruption and revenue loss. To view this article and download, click here.

Metabiota Reveals Top 3 Industries that will be Impacted by Epidemics in 2019

Today, Metabiota, the pioneer in epidemic risk modeling, is unveiling its predictions for the industries that are most likely to be impacted by a health crisis in the year ahead. According to a recent survey by North Carolina State University’s Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) and management consulting firm Protiviti, board members and C-suite executives want to devote additional time or resources to risk management efforts in 2019. Epidemic risk is a very real threat facing today’s companies. In fact, in the last decade, there have been over 400 high priority human disease outbreaks- and those have impacted the stability of economies and corporations everywhere. The Zika virus alone may end up costing Latin America and the Caribbean up to $18 billion, and the South Korean MERS outbreak in 2015 caused a 40 percent drop in tourism, costing the country an estimated loss of $900 million in revenue. “As we get better at understanding how outbreak events have, and could, play out, we also are getting better at translating that information into business impacts,” said Dr. Patrick Ayscue, director of epidemiology at Metabiota. “Leveraging Metabiota’s unique Pathogen Sentiment Index that can estimate public fear and potential impact of these events to businesses, we’re able to help companies, economies and the world become more resilient to the devastating financial setbacks related to outbreaks. And we are now realizing the full potential of these capabilities and the industries they are ready to protect.” To read more of this announcement, please click here.

Preparing for the Next Pandemic

Introduction This year marks the 100th anniversary of the 1918 influenza pandemic, also known as the “Spanish Flu”, which killed approximately 50 million people worldwide. This is the fourth and final installment of 1918 Today, Metabiota’s analysis of the most significant pandemic in modern history and what it can teach the world about how to prepare for devastating pandemics in the future.  In our concluding installment, we will explore how influenza pandemic preparedness has evolved and discuss the many ways researchers and public health officials are striving to mitigate the impact of the next "Big One". To read more of this post, please visit this link.

Business Insurance 2018 Innovation Awards: PathogenRX Wins

Marsh LLC, Metabiota Inc., Munich Re PATHOGENRX Fear of the unknown can be disastrous for a company’s bottom line. That’s particularly true for businesses such as hospitality and tourism that depend on a steady flow of customers. An outbreak of a disease such as Zika can dry up that flow, cutting into a company’s profits. But fear is a hard thing to measure. That uncertainty led Marsh LLC to partner with San Francisco-based epidemic risk modeling company Metabiota Inc. and Munich Reinsurance Co. to offer a remedy to pandemic-related revenue losses by creating PathogenRX, a 2018 Business Insurance Innovation Awards winner. The product uses Metabiota’s Pathogen Sentiment Index to estimate public fear and the way behavior could change in the face of major disease outbreaks. Businesses can model the loss arising from an outbreak and protect their balance sheets against the potential loss through an insurance policy underwritten by Munich Re. The policy can be customized to meet the coverage needs of clients. Hospitality and gaming, travel and tourism, aviation, and sports and events are among the target industries for the policy. “In the non-property damage (business interruption) world, pandemics have traditionally fallen out of the scope of what can be identified and measured for a policy,” said Jen Bruursema, a vice president of marketing and sales at Metabiota who helped develop the product. “That’s because pandemics are very difficult to predict in terms of where they’re going to emerge and how long they’re going to last.” “The Sentiment Index is very, very unique; that score can be impacted,” said Christian Ryan, Marsh managing director and U.S. hospitality, sports and entertainment practice leader in Dallas. “Clients can see the index, and if something happens anywhere around the world, the index is adjusted. It’s very, very simple.” “The various pathogens have different profiles for how the public looks at infectious disease,” said Ms. Bruursema. “Each pathogen gets its own unique scores based on how frightening those symptoms might be. If this threshold or score is reached, the likelihood is consumers aren’t likely to go to various events or proceed with travel.” “Risk managers have been planning on operational things that they need to do to prepare for an epidemic or pandemic,” such as crisis communication, said Ms. Bruursema. “But none of these risk managers have felt safe on the balance-sheet side of their operations. This new solution of PathogenRX for the first time gives them the same way to estimate what this event would cost their organizations.” For a link to the original article, click here.

Today's Hotelier publishes "Preparing hoteliers to protect their businesses against global health crises"

  PHYSICAL DAMAGE CAUSED BY NATURAL catastrophes such as hurricanes, floods, and earthquakes can capture headlines and be reported as a common metric for the impact to businesses. For hoteliers, this logic is especially true, because without property, there is no business. However, physical damage is only one way a disaster can negatively impact a hotel’s balance sheet. There are many other types of disasters, including infectious disease events, which can cause a similar shock to a hotel’s revenue without ever causing damage to the property. As we have seen historically, these impacts can be just as damaging and can have long-term effects. RECENT REVENUE LOSS FROM ZIKA Most recently, Zika virus took the Americas by a storm. Though Zika was first discovered in 1947, it caused only relatively minor outbreaks in Africa and Asia before being identified in Brazil in May 2015. By the time the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the Latin America Zika outbreak a Public Health Emergency of International Concern because of the association with birth defects and neurological disorders, Zika had spread to more than 20 countries and territories in the Americas. Impacts from the outbreak extended beyond the obvious health implications with significant economic losses realized as well. A United Nations report found Zika’s short-term economic loss in Latin America could reach $18 billion, with the majority of the impact driven by declines in tourism as the public reacted fearfully to the risks presented by the virus. A significant decrease in hotel occupancy rates followed the WHO emergency announcement in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. In the first two years of the outbreak, hotels in the Baja California city suffered losses in occupancy for more than nine months (See Figure 1). In Cabo San Lucas, the nine-month impact of Zika on occupancy rates is comparable to those observed in the three months following Hurricane Odile – the most intense hurricane to hit Baja California in recent history. To read more, click here.

Metabiota Nominated for an Insurance Innovation Award by Digital Insurer

Visit this link for more details and to have your vote counted on November 2.

Preparing Your Business for the Next Health Crisis

Our partner, Marsh Global, has created and released a thoughtful new report for companies considering the impact from significant infectious disease events. Metabiota provided insights into the content and our Pathogen Sentiment Index is a key tool that is informing PathogenRX. The report is entitled, "Pandemic Readiness: Risk Finance and Mitigation Strategies" and it examines a host of topics, including the cost of infectious disease on businesses, response planning and insuring against the risk of epidemics and pandemics. Below is an excerpt from the report ... "A century ago, the Spanish flu spread across the world, killing as many as 100 million people and causing devastating economic losses. Since then, tens of millions of lives have been claimed by pandemics and epidemics that also wreaked havoc on businesses and damaged national economies. Despite advances in medicine and improved infection control practices, the swine flu and Zika pandemics and outbreaks of the Ebola virus and Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus in the last decade are a stark reminder of the dangers posed by rapidly spreading disease. Although public health officials must lead much of the preventive work needed to limit the effects of infectious diseases, organizations can manage their own risk by planning their response to protect their people and fiscal integrity. To effectively respond to these threats, businesses should take a two-pronged approach, starting with establishing preparedness strategies that cover emergency response, business continuity, crisis management, and crisis communications. Aside from the ability to monitor the progress of emerging pandemics and epidemics and understanding their potential impact, plans should also be in place to continue operations in case of travel restrictions and if organizations are directly affected. Secondly, businesses should understand how existing insurance coverages may respond to a pandemic, and make any necessary changes to their policies, keeping in mind the potentially global nature of various diseases." To access the full report, click here. 

Could pandemic risk impact your business?

Pandemics are the stuff of nightmares. But alongside the risk to life, there are significant risks to businesses too. In the worst-case scenario, the worldwide spread of a serious infectious disease could result in annual economic losses of more than $500 billion as well as pandemic-related deaths of 700,000, according to a study cited by the World Health Organization. But even a relatively small outbreak could have huge consequences for businesses in certain sectors, namely hospitality, gambling and transportation. As a result, organizations are increasingly seeking solutions for financial protection and risk transfer in the case that a pandemic impacts trading. “We are seeing a lot of interest in that from certain classes of business,” Duncan Ellis, Marsh’s US property practice leader told Corporate Risk and Insurance. “There have been some fairly high-profile articles written of late around the hidden dangers of pandemics, which have happened mostly in Asia around SARS or MERS and other types of diseases. But these incidences of pandemics can also play havoc with a client’s balance sheet, especially around bookings,” Ellis said. Should there be an outbreak of a disease, businesses in the surrounding area will likely be directly impacted. Most at risk are those in sectors where customers could simply choose to avoid the area or activity all together. “For the gaming or hospitality sector, one of your exposures is a potential pandemic which could all of a sudden cause the number of people coming to visit you to be reduced by an enormous level,” Ellis said. The prevalence of international travel today only adds fuel to the fire – and means transportation businesses face risks too. “The way the world works these days… a gambler could be in Macau today and technically speaking could be in Las Vegas tomorrow, for example,” Ellis said. “If they suddenly came down with something and flew on a certain airline, you could imagine how the bookings would go.” Parametric policies are becoming an increasingly attractive solution for those looking to insure the risks to their business around pandemics. Parametric cover works by using a pre-determined parameter - i.e. a metric or an index – which could see the presence of a pathogen trigger the policy for those insuring pandemic risk. This year, Marsh launched PathogenRX, a product that provides financial protection to the global operations of US-based businesses affected by an infectious disease outbreak. The policy utilizes a parametric trigger provided by epidemic risk modeling specialists Metabiota and capacity from reinsurance giant Munich Re. Martin South, president of Marsh’s US and Canada Division, described pandemics and epidemics as “not your average risk.” He added: “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.” For a link to the original article, please click here.

Business Insurance Magazine Names 2018 Innovation Award Winners - Metabiota, Marsh and Munich Re

Business Insurance on Monday announced the winners of its 2018 Innovation Awards. The awards recognize innovative products and services designed for professional risk managers. The winners were selected by an independent panel of risk managers. The award-winning organizations are: American International Group Inc.   Care Bridge International Inc.   FM Global   Gallagher Bassett Services Inc.   Hiscox Special Risks, a unit of Hiscox Ltd.   Liberty Mutual Insurance Co.   Marsh L.L.C., which had two winning entries   Marsh L.L.C./Metabiota Inc./Munich Reinsurance Co., which submitted a joint project (PathogenRX).   The Institutes   The award-winning entries will be profiled in the November issue of Business Insurance, and the winners will be recognized at the U.S. Insurance Awards to be held in New York in March 2019. For a link to the original post, click here.