Antibiotic resistance threat on agenda for property insurers

The threat facing property and casualty insurers from increasingly drug-resistant fungi and toxic mould will be addressed at a unique Crawford & Company® event in the Netherlands.

With the insurance market delivering restoration and repair services to homeowners and businesses every day around the world, Crawford is hosting a seminar on 28 March to address what is seen as a significantly underestimated problem.

Rianne Baumann

Rianne Baumann: “post flood events are presenting increased risk as toxic mould and drug resistant fungi can develop”

Claims from mould or fungi have long been a problem for the insurance industry with the Wall Street Journal reporting on the rise of these claims as early as 2004.  Some experts advise that the growth of these claims has been exponential, with more than 10,000 mould claims currently pending in the United States, particularly in Florida, California, Texas and Arizona.

Rianne Baumann, operations director for non-marine at Crawford & Company (Nederland), explained: “We have an audience of insurers, brokers, risk managers and repair contractors joining us for the event, which will explore the types of scenarios which can occur when fungi develops on a property. Typically we are looking at a post-flood event where drying has taken place and steps have been taken to treat any likely sources of fungi in a building. However, medical experts believe this will become a growing problem for society as antibiotic resistance increases. Homeowners may suffer infections which are difficult to treat, with the potential for disputes about the possible cause likely to be a major problem unless insurers take this issue seriously.”

The Crawford® event will focus on educating the audience in the basic biological issues around how fungi and toxic mould can develop in a property. The event will feature a presentation from Arjan Postma, a forester and well known Dutch TV personality who regularly appears on current affairs programmes to explain environmental topics.

“This is an important and growing issue for our industry so we are glad to be able to bring people together and begin a dialogue about what can be done to protect businesses and homeowners,” adds Rianne. “It is in everyone’s interest to ensure that the problem is brought out into the open.”

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