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Policies can contain extensions relating to BI from suppliers, but again usually need damage at the suppliers premises to trigger cover and do not generally go beyond the first or second suppliers in a chain.

Following unexpected events such as the Icelandic volcanic ash cloud in 2010, supply chain risk management is now on the agenda for many companies and a few insurers are introducing Supply Chain Policies to include non-damage covers for unpredictable events, so specialist covers are emerging.

From a liability angle, Employers Liability policies will certainly respond to a compensation claim should an employee die or suffer long term effects of a disease, although the employee would have to prove negligence against the employer for the claim to succeed. Public and Products Liability policies covering liability for injury to third parties or damage to their property will be subject to the same proof of negligence with a further complication that most policies either exclude or restrict claims arising from contamination, although whether an insurer would try and use this to avoid claims is uncertain.

The position with travel insurance and Ebola is that policies will cover cancellation costs and medical expenses incurred abroad to treat Ebola from those in affected areas at the time of the initial outbreak, but most will exclude cover for travel to a country against Foreign Office advice (as is now the case for the affected areas) unless cover is specifically arranged.

Insurers do not like exposure to risks that are potentially so widespread and as can be seen would have limited exposure if a pandemic were to hit the UK. Hopefully such an event will not happen, but if it does how many companies will have taken time to consider the possible impact of to their business and either put contingency plans in place, or sought specialist insurance?

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