Insurers shun Millennium Bug claims

If your system falls over and causes major damage on New Year's Day 2000, don't expect your insurance company to come to the party.

If your system falls over and causes major damage on New Year’s Day 2000, don't expect your insurance company to come to the party.

The so-called Millennium Bug, which threatens computers and software not programmed to recognise dates beyond the year 2000, is seen as being a potential disaster area, particularly on older systems which carry out such tasks as air traffic control, traffic management, telecommunications, banking, benefit payments and the like.

But insurers say any disasters resulting from computers malfunctioning are unlikely to be covered.

Insurance Council staff say the issue hasn't been addressed specifically, but that by and large foreseeable problems are outside the realm of most policies.

Rob Arcus, of Sun Alliance, backs this up. "It's not accidental, its foreseeable," he says. "All policies are basically about events that are unforseen, unlooked for.

"Having said that, there's nothing to stop some bright underwriter coming up with a specific policy, so long as they can get sufficient premiums. But certainly the standard policies don't cover it."

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