NBCR Cover Launched as Terror Threat Rises

Business across the UK can access protection against the threat of Nuclear, Biological, Chemical and Radiological (NBCR) terrorism, amid a warning that the pandemic has increased the threat.

Specialty MGA Fiducia has announced it has partnered with leading Lloyd’s syndicates to offer the new standalone policy, which will sit alongside its current terrorism product in the wake of increased fears that the COVID pandemic has seen terror groups’ interest in launching NBCR attacks increase.

It comes after one of the country’s leading terrorism experts, Andrew Silke, Cranfield University’s Professor of Terrorism Risk Management and Resilience published a comprehensive report examining the impact of COVID on the global threat of terrorism and identified the potential rise in the likelihood of a NBCR attack.

“One genuine concern is that COVID-19 may lead to a resurgence in interest among terrorists for using chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear weapons. Historically, a range of terrorist movements have been interested in bioterrorism though there have been very few successful attacks by terrorists using biological weapons.  While serious obstacles certainly remain, the huge impact of COVID-19 may re-ignite some interest in biological weapons.”

Prior to the current pandemic the fear over an NBCR attacks was real. While UK Terrorism backstop Pool Re provide NBCR coverage outside of the state backed reinsurer the cover is difficult to source, despite the rising threat.

Fiducia has partnered with Ascot and Chaucer syndicates at Lloyd’s to create the new NBCR cover which will provide brokers across the UK with the ability to offer protection to their commercial clients.

While Pool Re offers NBCR in conjunction with its standard terrorism cover, companies cannot pick and choose the location and/or the premises they would like to cover. Firms have to purchase a policy that covers all premises in which they operate. It is an all or nothing approach and as such it can make the cost prohibitive.

The NBCR policy can be purchased alongside the current market-leading terrorism cover offered by Fiducia and offers a significant aggregate limit. Clean-up / Decontamination costs are automatically covered. The policy can be extended to provide denial of access resulting from any NBCR event within a 5 mile radius.

While the nature of the terrorist threat in the UK has changed, the impact remains significant for many businesses.

Terrorism Underwriter at Fiducia, David Heeney, said: “What we saw in the aftermath of the 9/11 attack was 3000 companies fail to open their doors again, as they simply could not afford to sustain the business through the huge level of business interruption that followed. They simply were unable to access their buildings and the area”.

The threat posed by NBCR attack is different, chemicals, radiation and viral infection can be carried significant distances from where it was detonated or released and as such with the threat levels increasing it is an issue for the market and our clients.

“Regional brokers are keen to ensure their clients are offered the protections they need but terrorism has been one area where there has been a real need for an innovative approach.”

He added: “At Fiducia we continue to offer regional brokers and their clients a flexible and affordable solution. Our cover, backed by Lloyd’s capacity, enables those with multiple premises to pick whether they want to cover all their Locations or simply those they believe have a risk profile that merits coverage.

“It delivers a cost effective solution to the cover offered by Pool Re, which requires specific limits on each of a company’s premises which as you can imagine creates a significant liability which is then reflected in the premium.”

“The COVID pandemic has impacted every business and insurance brokers are no different,” concluded Mr Heeney. “We believe that our new policy will once again enable our broker partners to offer their clients a cover they may not realise they require at a price which is affordable for the peace of mind it will deliver.”