Metabiota’s Pathogen Sentiment Index to Fuel Innovative Epidemic Insurance Offering for Travel & Tourism Industry

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Index integrates scientific expertise, disease analytics and consumer sentiment scoring for each pathogen

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Through this strategic collaboration, we will be able to provide our hospitality clients with tools to identify the gaps between real and perceived pandemic risks and provide a risk mitigation solution that provides financial protection for the consequences of an epidemic.

Today, Metabiota, the pioneer in epidemic risk modeling, unveiled details of its Pathogen Sentiment Index, a tool for estimating public fear and behavioral change driven by infectious disease outbreaks. The Index integrates Metabiota’s deep scientific expertise with extensive analytics into historical infectious disease outbreaks with consumer sentiment scoring for each pathogen.

Under an exclusive agreement with Munich Re, a leading global reinsurance company, and Marsh, a global leader in insurance broking and innovative risk management solutions, Metabiota’s Index will be the basis for cutting-edge epidemic insurance solutions to be developed and brought to market by the companies.

For the first time, travel and tourism businesses like hotels, airports, cruise ships and theme parks will be able to access a public fear trigger-based business interruption policy designed to protect against a significant financial loss resulting from an epidemic.

While the travel and tourism industry is the first commercial target for this offering, organizations and business of all sizes will benefit from an epidemic risk solution like this as insurers and financial institutions mature their offering and expand into new industry segments. As example of the real cost of epidemics, The Zika virus may end up costing Latin America and the Caribbean up to $18 billion. And the U.S. economy has already been directly impacted by the spread of the virus. In the summer of 2016, 91 percent of businesses in a Miami district reported experiencing loss of revenue by as much as 40 percent. Across the world, the South Korean MERS outbreak resulted in a 40 percent drop in tourism in Seoul. The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism said more than 100,000 people had cancelled trips and estimated that the country loss was $900 million in revenue.

“Infectious disease outbreaks can inflict enormous social and economic disruption and public fear and panic can only magnify those disruptions,” said Bill Rossi, CEO of Metabiota. “Until now, that risk has been difficult to measure. By providing a comprehensive and objective methodology for quantifying the potential ripple effect of epidemic risk, we’re able to provide the insurance industry with the tools to underwrite risk and deliver polices to protect countries and corporations from financial blowback.”

Munich Re, the innovative driver of epidemic risk transfer solutions, is looking forward to incorporating the Sentiment Index in their products that cover epidemic outbreak risks of the hospitality industry. According to Gunther Kraut, Head of Epidemic Risk Solutions at Munich Re, “we see a big potential in using the Sentiment Index as a trigger concept as it makes people’s anxiety measurable in terms of economic impacts. For us, this is a great tool to expand the frontiers of insurability.”

“The travel and tourism industry is often on the frontlines when it comes to taking the hit from an infectious disease outbreak,” said Christian Ryan, US Hospitality, Sports and Entertainment Leader, Marsh. “Through this strategic collaboration, we will be able to provide our hospitality clients with tools to identify the gaps between real and perceived pandemic risks and provide a risk mitigation solution that provides financial protection for the consequences of an epidemic.”

The Index is designed to be flexible and can be quickly updated to incorporate new pathogens, including newly emerging diseases. It is regularly updated to reflect potential developments that can influence public fear, like the development of a new vaccine or the discovery of a new disease symptom. The Index has been extensively tested and validated against over a decade of media reporting on historical infectious disease outbreaks.

About Metabiota
Metabiota is the pioneer in comprehensive risk analytics that help organizations and countries build resilience to epidemics and protect global public health. Built on a strong foundation of scientific expertise, including a worldwide network of on-the-ground experts, Metabiota delivers actionable, data-driven analytics to help countries and corporations mitigate complex health issues. With a strategic global presence and sustained partnerships, Metabiota’s agile approach helps identify, analyze and transfer the risk associated with biological threats. The company’s international footprint includes operations in nearly 20 countries and offices in San Francisco, Canada, Sierra Leone, Cameroon and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. For more information, visit

About Marsh
A global leader in insurance broking and innovative risk management solutions, Marsh’s 30,000 colleagues advise individual and commercial clients of all sizes in over 130 countries. Marsh is a wholly owned subsidiary of Marsh & McLennan Companies (NYSE: MMC), the leading global professional services firm in the areas of risk, strategy and people. With annual revenue over US$14 billion and nearly 65,000 colleagues worldwide, MMC helps clients navigate an increasingly dynamic and complex environment through four market-leading firms. In addition to Marsh, MMC is the parent company of Guy Carpenter, Mercer, and Oliver Wyman. Follow Marsh on Twitter @MarshGlobal; LinkedIn; Facebook; and YouTube, or subscribe to BRINK.

About Munich Re
Munich Re stands for exceptional solution-based expertise, consistent risk management, financial stability and client proximity. This is how Munich Re creates value for clients, shareholders and staff. In the financial year 2017, the Group – which combines primary insurance and reinsurance under one roof – achieved a profit of €0.4bn. It operates in all lines of insurance, with over 42,000 employees throughout the world. With premium income of around €32bn from reinsurance alone, it is one of the world’s leading reinsurers. Especially when clients require solutions for complex risks, Munich Re is a much sought-after risk carrier. Its primary insurance operations are concentrated mainly in ERGO, one of the leading insurance groups in Germany and Europe. ERGO is represented in over 30 countries worldwide and offers a comprehensive range of insurances, provision products and services. In 2017, ERGO posted premium income of €17.5bn. Munich Re’s global investments (excluding insurance-related investments) amounting to €218bn are managed by MEAG, which also makes its competence available to private and institutional investors outside the Group.

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Aimee Eichelberger

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