… We had a bird flu pandemic? I was thinking this would be (from a financial standpoint) a life insurance and perhaps health insurance catastrophe as death claims and medical claims would be quite high. What if your recently sick or deceased loved one didn’t have life insurance or medical insurance? What other potential payer exists? Insurers are already worried about workers compensation as being a source of claims. I am not a workers comp expert, but it would seem to me that one would have to obtain the disease within the scope of one’s employment. However, it is a work place injury the workers comp plans were designed to protect against?
Mr. Ulrich [ a modeler at Risk Management Solutions] said in an interview today that with 40 million workers hit by the flu, “some people are going to file claims,” and just as Hurricane Katrina produced an avalanche of litigation, a flu outbreak would likely have the same outcome because “people will look for deep pockets.”
In addition, he said, some occupations, such as teachers and health care workers, may have a case to argue that they should have comp coverage for injuries resulting from workplace exposure. Even if claims are not upheld, it could result in significant legal defense costs for insurers, said Mr. Ulrich.
Wouldn’t it be smart to get a deal on the scope of workers compensation coverage up front where it could be priced and managed rather than on an ex post basis?