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Actuaries Urge Need for Risk Management and Continuity Planning With H1N1 Pandemic
Date:6/12/2009

SCHAUMBURG, Ill., June 12 /PRNewswire/ -- With the H1N1 flu spreading globally, the World Health Organization (WHO) has declared it a pandemic. This marks the first global flu epidemic in 41 years with reports of the flu coming from Mexico, U.S., Australia and many more locations. In response to this development, members from the Society of Actuaries (SOA) are advising businesses to revisit and/or create business continuity and preparedness plans.

Much like the 1918 Spanish flu, the H1N1 global pandemic could cause thousands of deaths and significantly impact small and large businesses alike. At a recent presentation at the Enterprise Risk Management Symposium in Chicago, Max Rudolph, Fellow of the Society of Actuaries (FSA), Chartered Enterprise Risk Analyst (CERA) and owner of Rudolph Financial Consulting LLC, discussed key findings on the pandemic in relation to the 1918 outbreak. He said, "Businesses need to take a deeper look into the risks associated with their operations in coping with the possible impact of this virus. These risks include insurance risk (mortality, morbidity); economic risk (liquidity); counterparty risk (reinsurer solvency); and business continuity (claims and customer service)."

Focusing on the risks to businesses from a pandemic, Rudolph recommends companies put preparedness plans in place not only for today, but also for the next six to nine months, taking a more long-term, comprehensive look at managing risks. Rudolph stated that the pandemic's effect on the supply-chain could become a huge issue as it involves healthcare, food and energy services.

Rudolph also noted several key tips for businesses in dealing with the pandemic impact:

  • Communication: Be part of the solution in advance and think about pay/absentee policies so employees/customers are not surprised.
  • Liquidity: Have currency and credit on hand that can be pulled when times
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SOURCE The Society of Actuaries
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