Evaluating the Role of Insurance in Managing Risk of Future Pandemics
COVID-19 has demonstrated the challenges that policymakers, insurers, businesses, and employees face when disaster assistance programs are developed after the pandemic has already started. There is now an opportunity to design and implement effective and efficient solutions to manage the financial risks of a future pandemic. This paper suggests a practical framework, informed by the recent experience with COVID-19, for defining a meaningful role for insurance in managing business interruption (BI) and other risks from future pandemics. Policymakers, regulators, businesses, and other stakeholders interacting with representatives from the insurance industry can assist in defining its role in providing protection against the financial consequences of future pandemics. This framework, while designed for dealing with future pandemics, may be applied to other catastrophic and systemic risks.
We thank Alex Braun, Ben Collier and Carolyn Kousky for helpful comments on an earlier draft. The views expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Bureau of Economic Research.