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What About Ebola's Impact on Insurers?

As the Ebola epidemic in Africa begins affecting U.S. residents, the Insurance Information Institute posted a comprehensive fact sheet on Ebola and its effects on U.S. insurers on its website, indicating that even if the virus spreads to infect thousands of adults in the United States, the insurance industry could financially withstand the crisis...
October 17, 2014

As the Ebola epidemic in Africa begins affecting U.S. residents, the Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.) posted a comprehensive fact sheet on Ebola and its effects on U.S. insurers on its website, indicating that even if the virus spreads to infect thousands of adults in the United States, the insurance industry could financially withstand the crisis. I.I.I. economist Dr. Steven Weisbart has assembled data and analysis in this report, which looks at the pandemic from an insurance perspective.

About 33 percent of U.S. adults have life insurance through their employers, with typical coverage equal to one year's income; and another 33 percent of adults have individual life insurance with average death claims of about $200,000. Treating Ebola patients, however, could end up at the high end of health insurance claims, and the cost for insurers in that sector would depend on the size of the outbreak. Other insurance sectors possibly affected by an Ebola outbreak would be workers' compensation, general liability and medical malpractice.

Facts and Perspectives on the Ebola Pandemic (I.I.I. 10/13/14)