Broker Check

The Secondary Perils of COVID-19

April 07, 2021

Perhaps the biggest dangers from the COVID-19 pandemic are first, we don't know what we don't know and second, we are so anxious to be free of restrictions that we neglect continuing dangers. 

We are seeing increased infections even as more people are vaccinated. Now Autumn Demberger warns of secondary COVID-19 perils in an article in Risk & Insurance (online at Warning: this site is not secure.)

For physical events, secondary perils (e.g. tsunami after earthquake, flood after hurricane) are limited in time. COVID-19 secondary perils could last for years.

Sheri Wilbanks of AXA XL list the main secondary perils as

  • Long-term health effects. You may be familiar with the term "long hauler" for people with these continuing effects. In addition to medical and possible workers compensation costs, there are mental health effects on both patients and the health care workers who treat them. 
  • Productivity and innovation. Many women are leaving the work force at the same time as businesses try to increase diversity. Organizations will suffer from loss of talent.
  • "Take-home COVID" in which workers infect family or friends.    

Compared to these secondary effects, current losses may just be the tip of the iceberg.