COVID-19 Wrap-up: Pandemic Complicates Hurricane Preparation

The National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has predicted an
above-normal hurricane season in terms of the total number of storms. Its
 2020 Atlantic
Hurricane Season Outlook
 calls for
13-19 named storms, 6-10 hurricanes, and 3-6 major hurricanes.

This year, the COVID-19 pandemic
adds a layer of difficulty to hurricane preparedness, particularly when it
comes to evacuation plans. Florida state officials
anticipate the challenge of preparing shelters with social distancing measures
in place and have asked FEMA for guidance. New Orleans is advising residents to plan to include hand sanitizer and face
coverings in their emergency home kits and go-bags.

Likewise, the impending hurricane season subjects managing
pandemic response and reopening the economy in its wake to additional uncertainty.

COVID-19 to Increase Hurricane Losses, Widespread Events the Most Artemis, May 26, 2020

Hurricane Season Gets A Little More Complicated With Coronavirus, Bloomberg Green, May 25, 2020

What Happens if a Hurricane Hits During the Pandemic? New York Times, May 24, 2020

COVID-19 to Increase Hurricane Losses, Widespread Events the Most Artemis, May 26, 2020

Global Risk and Insurance Impacts

The European Commission should create a European Union-based
resilience framework to provide insurance cover for catastrophes, such as
pandemics and huge cyberattacks, the Federation of European Risk Management
(FERMA) said Tuesday.

Reuters
reports
that the proposed framework would involve public-private
partnerships and could respond to events that create hefty business losses
without physical damage.

Commercial prices climb

Prices for commercial insurance are rising at rates not seen
for almost two decades, compounding pressure on businesses that are already
struggling to deal with the coronavirus crisis, The
Financial Times
reports
. Industry experts say that prices for some
types of cover are doubling as insurers attempt to repair some of the damage
the crisis has inflicted on their balance sheets.

Insurers are facing a double hit from coronavirus, the FT
says. Claims from customers could pass $100 billion in total, while there has
also been a hit to reserves from volatile financial markets.

French ruling puts coronavirus claims on global menu

Reuters
reports
that AXA will meet the bulk of business interruption claims from
some restaurant owners in France after losing a court case seen as a potential
precedent for coronavirus-related disputes across the world.

A Paris court ruled last week that AXA should pay a
restaurant owner two months of revenue losses caused by the virus pandemic. AXA
had argued its policy did not cover business disruption caused by the health
crisis.