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The Actuary The magazine of the Institute & Faculty of Actuaries
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Avian flu research

The Society of Actuaries is initiating research on the possible implications of an avian flu pandemic on the insurance industry. Jim Toole, fellow of the Society of Actuaries and managing director of MBA Actuaries, will guide the study. Toole hopes the study will help to provide actuarial risk measurement and management regarding the readiness of the insurance industry to face a pandemic.

‘Advance planning is critical. An insurer needs to do more than just study how a pandemic might affect the amount and timing of claim dollars it pays to its policyholders’, Toole says. ‘It will also need to consider how it will function at unprecedented claim volumes, when as many as 50% of its employees are ill or absent providing care for family members.The research will assess the total risk to an insurer, discussing vital considerations for before, during, and after an event that might mitigate or exacerbate the consequences of a severe or moderate pandemic.’