Atlanta, Georgia – April 24, 2006 – North American life insurance companies lag behind their international counterparts in their preparation for a possible avian influenza pandemic, according to a survey conducted during the first two weeks of April 2006. LOMA, a leading global association of life insurance companies, sponsored the survey, which was distributed to its members in North America and in the rest of the world. There were 155 responses, more than one-quarter of which were from outside North America, chiefly from Asia.
The LOMA survey found that about one-third of North American life insurers have plans in place to address a flu pandemic. In contrast, more than half of life insurers elsewhere have pandemic plans. Asian companies were particularly likely to have pandemic plans.
In general, pandemic response plans differ from ordinary disaster recovery and business continuity plans in their emphasis on human resource issues and on work at home. Many North American life insurers that do not yet have such plans are in the process of preparing them.
The survey also examines insurer plans to have their staff work at home and to protect the health of their employees. It also presents information regarding insurer stockpiling of antiviral medications, personal protective equipment and hand sanitizers.
Results of the survey are available to LOMA Members on LOMA’s Web site. A forthcoming LOMA research report examines the features of insurer pandemic plans now in place, as revealed by the qualitative results to this survey. For more about LOMA, visit www.loma.org.