COVID-19: Evolving Insurance and Risk Management Implications

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread, having far-reaching effects on lives, businesses, and economies worldwide. Local and national governments are escalating measures aimed at stemming the reach of the virus and mitigating its disruptive impacts. Similarly, many companies are looking to protect their people and enhance their resilience while seeking potential responses to ongoing financial losses in their insurance policies.

The current situation remains fluid, with scientific understanding of the COVID-19 virus, medical response, and actions by governments and organizations evolving rapidly. The pandemic is expected to raise many coverage and resilience issues for both insureds and insurers. As events continues to unfold, organizations should work closely with their advisors and counsel to address the multitude of concerns.

In a new report, COVID-19: Evolving Insurance and Risk Management Implications, Marsh provides an overview of some of the key coverage, claims, and risk management areas that are currently top of mind for businesses and insurers. COVID-19 could have implications for a variety of coverage lines, including property, casualty, event cancellation, management liability, cyber, and credit risk. But it’s important for policyholders to note that insurers will form their views on coverage for a claim based on specific policy language and the specific facts and circumstances of a loss.

The report also looks at how businesses can actively respond to current effects of the pandemic while continuing to plan and prepare for future ones. Among other steps, businesses should:

  • Analyze the impacts and critical issues in light of the current state of the pandemic in specific geographies, and use this information to forecast other likely impacts as the pandemic continues. This exercise can help companies determine the resources needed during the coming weeks and months.
  • Identify worst-case disruption scenarios emanating from both within and outside of the organization. And evaluate and implement business continuity workarounds for these scenarios, ensuring first that they are viable and have been stress-tested.
  • Communicate clearly with employees about business priorities, resilience plans, and work expectations, which is even more important when there are fewer face-to-face interactions. Extend this communication to cover continued health and well-being, and provide guidance to employees and leadership on specific COVID-19 situations — for example, if an employee reports symptoms — before instituting new work arrangements and policies.

The report covers a number of issues that organizations are likely facing, including breaks in their supply chain and technology challenges. It also provides several tips for creating more comfortable, safe, and productive remote working environments for the duration of the pandemic.

Colleagues from Marsh and other Marsh & McLennan businesses remain ready to help businesses affected by COVID-19 manage these effects and plan for potential future pandemics. We are helping businesses understand how insurance coverage may respond, manage the claims process, and address the effects of the pandemic on people and operations.