Atlanta, GA-March 16, 2006-As avian flu continues to spread among birds in Asia and Europe, scientists say there is a possibility the virus could mutate into a form that can pass between people. Insurers could face several challenges for which they need to be prepared if avian flu develops into a worldwide pandemic.
According to researchers in the LOMA Information Center, almost every line of business could be hit hard by avian flu. Insurers will also be affected as employers. It’s possible, and probable, that insurers will be operating with reduced staff during a period of heavy claims and general work overload.
LOMA Members can download a free Information Brief on avian flu from the Members Only section of LOMA�s Web site, https://registeredusers.loma.org.
The April 2006 issue of LOMA�s Resource magazine will feature five insurers sharing their contingency plans for avian flu and the steps they�re taking to prepare for the worst. Dr. Michael Moore, chief medical officer of Nationwide, also provides his thoughts on avian flu and what measures Nationwide is taking in case a pandemic occurs.
According to World Health Organization�s (WHO) projections, if the avian flu virus mutates into a form easily transmitted among people, the resulting pandemic could kill 25 to 165 million people worldwide. LOMA will continue to monitor this situation as well as others impacting the insurance and financial services industry.
Founded in 1924, LOMA is an international association through which more than 1,200 insurance and financial services companies from over 80 countries engage in research and educational activities to improve company operations. Visit www.loma.org