To reimburse companies for wages, fixed costs and extra expenses

Aon, an insurance broker, has introduced a stand-alone insurance policy to reimburse companies for wages, fixed costs and extra expenses if they are unable to access their buildings due to outbreak of H1N1.

After the H1N1 outbreak in April 2009, both the Mexican and Argentinean governments have shut their central business districts, public buildings and educational institutes to prevent the spread of infection.

If the UK or other governments take similar action in the event that the pandemic escalates, companies may not be able to rely on their standard business interruption insurance policies which traditionally restrict cover to disruption caused only by physical damage, notifiable diseases of which H1N1 is often not included and is subject to low limits.

The new Aon product is believed to be available to all industry groups, rather than solely focussing on hospitals and the healthcare industry. Retail, transport and manufacturing are likely to be the most affected sectors as they rely on public access and staff on site, whereas most financial services employees, for example, are able to work from home.

The cover can be adapted on a global, regional or single territory basis.