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    Willis North America Announces Bed Bug Infestation Insurance Protection for Hotel and Residential Industries

    Comprehensive Insurance Solution Includes Crisis Management Component to Reduce Brand Damage

    NEW YORK, June 28, 2011 - As the Bed Bug epidemic escalates, property owners continue to grapple with the tiny bugs that have caused big problems. Extensive publicity is shedding light on the scope of the problem and the liability landscape continues to evolve.

    Bed Bug infestation incidents have given rise to a range of allegations and claims including bodily injury, property damage, and mental anguish. In addition, hotel and residential real estate companies involved in a bed bug outbreak may incur costs to remediate the infestation, suffer revenue loss, and incur expenses associated with managing the crisis. Any organization involved in an infestation also faces significant brand damage.

    Most standard Property and Casualty insurance policies provide little, if any, coverage for this emerging exposure. To meet the growing demand from hotel, hospitality and residential property owners, Willis today announced Bed Bug Infestation Recovery Insurance ™ (BBIR). This innovative product developed in collaboration with Lago Vista, Texas-based Professional Liability Insurance Services offers a comprehensive risk management and insurance solution that extends coverage beyond what is generally available under standard property and liability policies.

    The BBIR product delivers a range of solutions, including:

    • Insurance to cover the cost of decontamination services
    • Insurance to cover the cost of rehabilitation expenses
    • Insurance to cover the loss of profit due to business interruption
    • Crisis management services including a 24/7 crisis hotline, and expert operating teams to coordinate with regulatory authorities, public health authorities, customers, employees, and media
    • Risk control techniques, including a bed bug prevention guide, customized action plans and training material for staff education
    • Decontamination services provided by locally and nationally recognized pest control specialists including Orkin, LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Rollins Inc.

    “This timely and innovative product will be a powerful ally for the hotel and residential property industries,” said Brian Ruane, Willis North America’s National Real Estate and Hotel Practice Leader said. “This program offers organizations a comprehensive approach to addressing the risks involved with this exposure - from tools to help prevent an infestation, to coverage for the economic consequences, through crisis management and remediation. The Program is intended to close a critical gap in most insurance policies.”

    “The crisis management component of this program is critical,” said John Lafakis, Senior Vice President and Program Manager for BBIR. “Any bed bug outbreak big or small has the potential to damage an organizations’ reputation or brand, resulting in financial loss. The BBIR product includes a team of experts that that can respond and coordinate with customers, the media, and regulatory authorities. This will go a long way towards minimizing the impact of an occurrence,” he said.

    For more information contact John Lafakis at 212-915-8274 or email john.lafakis@willis.com.

    About Willis:

    Willis Group Holdings plc is a leading global insurance broker. Through its subsidiaries, Willis develops and delivers professional insurance, reinsurance, risk management, financial and human resource consulting and actuarial services to corporations, public entities and institutions around the world. Willis has more than 400 offices in nearly 120 countries, with a global team of approximately 17,000 employees serving clients in virtually every part of the world. Additional information on Willis may be found at www.willis.com.

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