Although it's true you can insure just about anything against just about anything, today's news item came as a bit of a surprise:
Endorsement to Lexington's Commercial Property Insurance Covers Financial Risks Faced by Healthcare Providers in the Event of a Pandemic Flu
NEW YORK, Jul 31, 2008 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Lexington Insurance Company, a unit of AIG Commercial Insurance, today announced Pandemic Rx, an endorsement to Lexington's commercial property policy for acute care medical facilities to cover business income loss and extra expenses incurred during a declared pandemic influenza public health emergency (as defined in the policy).
"Because of the complex nature of healthcare economics, a pandemic flu would put tremendous financial strain on healthcare providers. An increase in hospital admissions, expected during a pandemic flu event, could actually result in reduced revenues and business income loss," said Kevin Kelley, Chairman and CEO, Lexington Insurance Company. "In an environment of resource scarcity, elective procedures may be canceled which may then lead to a lower average reimbursement rate for care provided during the pandemic event."
Back in December of 07 I did a post, Pandemic Accounting, and it addresses why this insurance was brought to market. It is still relevant to the issue and if you haven't read it I [modestly] suggest you do so.
I close out that previous post with these words:
Even though this article addresses the financial burdens a pandemic will place upon most hospitals the supporting underpinnings are some of the best I have seen outside of dense scientific papers. Admitting it's crass and insensitive to lean on financial concerns to support PanFlu concerns in general when I refer to what will be human lives and miseries, it's as the saying goes—money talks.
The question is—is anyone listening?
The insurance industry is listening.