Are you ready for a zombie takeover?

12th March 2018

The zombies are coming but being prepared an attack where a half dead creature will feast on your neck and brains might just save your life (and your business). Insurers have prepared for such eventualities in certain cases. As an example; most homeowner policies offer all peril cover and will pay for resulting damage except for the list of exclusions. Common exclusions can include damage as a result of flood, earthquake, water back up, termites, rodents, vermin, nuclear radiation and intentional loss. Some policies even go as far as listing zombies as a possible exclusion, meaning that if your home or personal property is damaged by a Zombie attack, you would not be covered.

In the insurance and business world, zombies have become a popular theme in emergency planning – which also include natural disasters like hurricanes as well as other possibilities like terrorist attacks and outbreaks, and asteroids hitting the earth. They are unprecedented, cause catastrophic damage and are scary as hell.

In America, the threat of a so-called Zombie invasion is a very real thing with The Centre for Disease Control launching a Zombie Preparedness Campaign in 2011. People even study for such an eventuality. The University of California’s online course titled The Walking Dead attracted more than 65,000 students in 2017 and even the  Pentagon, was recently revealed to have looked at zombie survival scenarios. Apps such as Apocalypse Survival Guide and organisations such as the  Zombie Research Society are also quickly gaining momentum and attention.

Despite the numerous dangers that could affect our personal and professional lives, we seem to not find the need to prepare for them. The Federal Emergency Management Agency's 2013 Preparedness in America Report classified 46 percent of Americans as falling into the Not On Their Radar profile, with only 34 percent likely to have disaster supplies at home. Just over a quarter of them had a family plan for emergencies.

Statistics in the United Kingdom vary but not by a big margin. The YouGov Omnibus survey in 2017 found 11 percent of everyday people living in the UK had a zombie plan, with 23 percent of young people having a plan of what to do compared to just 3 percent of those 55 and over.

Regardless of figures, one thing remains constant the threat of a zombie apocalypse is worldwide. You would expect disaster recovery planning to be a standard feature of insurance work but many businesses across all sectors are not as well prepared as they could be for a major interruption to their work. Some don’t even find the need to insure their key senior employees in the event that they become disabled or pass on. A zombie bite would render your business manager catatonic but you’d never get paid out to hire another one if you’re not insured for it.

Disaster recovery plans should be part and parcel of the corporate culture and it is essential that brokers continue to push this with clients and within their own businesses. Meanwhile, those businesses that do have a plan, often forget to test it.

Most large businesses may need to run simulations of the major risks and make sure that everyone knows the follow and that the plan holds up. Brokers need to advise clients on this as well as the cost implications. Unusually, business disasters are costlier in comparison to implanting and implementing a disaster plan. Even if the probability of an incident (such as a zombie attack) is lower; the overall cost of fixing the damage from such an incident can run into the millions.


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