How to best prepare for the next pandemic

February 7, 2023

COVID-19 is not the first communicable disease to reveal just how susceptible the world still is to severe impact from germs. Modern medicine had seemingly veiled society from diseases like polio, tuberculosis, and influenza. However, even today we see outbreaks of these diseases. Clearly, it is foolish to assume that we have conquered disease and even the spread of it.

New germs and viruses rear their head, and society can be knocked off kilter with each new strain. If anything, it has asserted more strongly the importance of preparation for such moments. Rather than thinking of the world pushing forward in terms of post-COVID-19, it would be much more impactful to realize that this is only setting the stage for another pandemic to materialize.

This perspective allows us to prepare better for—and create thorough risk management—plans to support society. Things like the obvious economic loss due to a global pandemic can be better protected if we take the time to plan for it accordingly. Usually, there are indicators along the way and these outbreaks do not occur haphazardly.

The insurance angle

Given the necessity, one would imagine that all business insurance would encompass communicable disease(s) or its byproducts. However, this is not the case. In fact, it’s standard for business insurance policies to exclude coverage for claims that are associated with infectious ailments.

What has become essential during such trying times are communicable disease riders. These are extensions and/or expansions to insurance policies. Communicable disease riders tend to include any losses as a result of health issues. It’s often considered blanket coverage during specific epidemics that result in any sort of business or work interruption.

Riders can help assist with any costs accrued (e.g., hospital bills, groceries, or rent/mortgage). It’s still common practice for property and liability policies to exclude anything related to an epidemic.

Business owners have begun to sense the importance though, and communicable disease policies have started to be offered on the marketplace. The bulk of commercial organizations in health care, hospitality, child care, retail and entertainment are now hip to this.

Your clients may not know they may need to purchase additional insurance to cover their businesses or events in a post-pandemic world. Take the time to talk with them about all their insurance needs, and show them the value of working with a professional insurance agent.

Maura Rosner

Maura worked as a reporter for the Daily Mail. She received her English, B.A., from Brooklyn College. Maura is also a photographer who believes that there is power in every image.

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