Although the subject of pandemic influenza disappeared from the media this winter due to the almost complete absence of instances of bird flu in Europe, experts are largely in agreement that the next pandemic is sure to come, the only question being when and how extensive it will be.
According to Munich Re, its experts have been analysing the impact of a pandemic on the company for a number of years. It believes that due to medical and technical advances, the mortality rate in the event of a pandemic would be much lower than in the past, certainly below that of the Spanish Flu, which claimed between 25 and 50 million lives worldwide in 1918.
On the insurance side, Munich Re is no more exposed than in the case of larger natural catastrophes. On the investment side, it is assumed that a pandemic as outlined by the World Health Organization, which experts regard as being the most likely scenario, would impact the global economy and the capital markets only for a certain period of time.