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Munich Re working with modeler on epidemic risk solutions

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Munich Reinsurance Co. on Monday said it has entered a long-term agreement with San Francisco-based epidemic risk modeler Metabiota Inc. to develop models and property/casualty insurance solutions to respond to epidemics.

Industries such as hospitality and travel can be severely affected by epidemics involving Ebola, SARS and Middle East respiratory syndrome, which pose a threat to the lives of individuals as well as national economies, Munich Re said in a statement.

Epidemics “demonstrate distinct patterns similar to natural catastrophes. And just as natural catastrophes can be insured despite the diversity and uniqueness of the events, epidemics are no exception,” said Nathan Wolfe, founder and CEO of Metabiota. “We are capturing unique data on infectious diseases supporting the development of financial mechanisms to limit the economic impact of epidemics.”

Munich Re already has made use of Metabiota's data and real-time monitoring capabilities in the past to structure solutions to transfer epidemic risk to investors in a private placement, and has also worked with Metabiota on data analysis for a cover for the infectious disease MERS in Korea, the reinsurer said in the statement.

“Eventually, we will be in a position to model the potential financial impact an epidemic may have on a region and its economy and offer the right insurance solutions,” Tobias Farny, Munich Re's chief executive in Asia-Pacific for Greater China, Korea and Southeast Asia, said in the statement.