June 12, 2020 / 11:08 AM / 25 days ago

German insurers propose multi-billion euro pandemic fund

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - German insurers are putting together plans for a multi-billion euro public-private fund to help companies deal with business interruptions from future pandemics, according to an industry paper.

Competitors in the United States and throughout Europe are also in talks with governments to find ways to insure future outbreaks.

In Germany, a working group of the nation’s major insurers released an initial discussion paper on Friday, which determined that the fund needs to have a volume of more than 10 billion euros (£9 billion).

The pot would serve as “a quick liquidity help” until government emergency measures could be hammered out.

It would be financed by contributions from potentially affected businesses and insurance companies, as well as through catastrophe bonds and government coffers.

Insurers outlined two possible models. One would be obligatory with flat-rate contributions, while the second would be voluntary and contributions would be based on the companies’ payout goals.

The GDV insurance lobby is coordinating the effort.

The paper was first reported by the German magazine Der Spiegel.

Reporting by Tom Sims; Editing by Michelle Martin, Kirsten Donovan

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