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    Willis Launches Reputation Protection for Hotels

    London, UK, October 12, 2011 – In the world of new media where bad news travels fast, food-borne illness or accidents involving guests on site can ruin a hotel’s reputation, and their balance sheet, overnight. To help protect hoteliers from losses as a result of such adverse publicity, Willis Group Holdings (NYSE: WSH), the global insurance broker, in conjunction with Lloyd’s of London underwriter Kiln, has created a policy aimed at limiting the financial fallout from negative PR.

    The Hotel Reputation Protection 2.0 policy has been created to respond to incidents that lead to, or are likely to lead to, losses resulting from adverse publicity through any medium, from traditional to new media.

    Specifically, the policy provides cover for lost revenue based on RevPAR figures, a performance metric in the hotel industry that measures revenue per available room. It also provides cover for the cost of hiring a crisis management consultant to assist during the first weeks of an incident. The policy will pay up to €25 million for both the crisis management costs and the reimbursement of the reduction in RevPAR.

    The Willis-Kiln cover is designed to protect hotels against some of the most common causes of brand damage, including the death or permanent physical disability of a guest, and food poisoning caused by malicious or accidental contamination. Also covered are outbreaks of Norovirus, which is responsible for about 90 per cent of stomach illnesses, and Legionnaire’s disease, a potentially fatal lung infection that can be contracted through the consumption of contaminated water.

    Laurie Fraser, Global Markets Leisure Practice Leader for Willis said: “In the extremely competitive hotel industry, reputation accounts for approximately 30-40 per cent of a business’s overall worth. Therefore, damage to reputation, which spreads virally through social and other media channels, can have a significant financial impact. Our product is designed to tackle both the actual loss of revenue and the costs of containment.”

    Paul Culham, Active Underwriter of the Enterprise Risk division at Kiln, which co-developed the product, said: “This development is yet another example of how Kiln’s focus on innovation and our partnership approach can enable pioneering products like this to be brought to the market. Our cover will provide peace of mind for businesses worried about the impact of potential brand damage on their bottom lines.”

    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.

    About Kiln

    Kiln is a forward thinking international insurance and reinsurance underwriting group with a portfolio of specialist risks. Since 1962, it has built its business on the strength of its underwriting and its relationships. A recognised leader in each of the seven main business areas in which it operates: property and special lines, marine, reinsurance, accident and health, aviation, life and enterprise risk, Kiln syndicates benefit from a security rating of ‘A+’ (Strong) assigned to Lloyd’s by Standard & Poor’s. Kiln is part of the ‘AA-’ rated Tokio Marine Group. Its UK operating company, R J Kiln & Co Limited, currently manages five syndicates at Lloyd’s and, in terms of capacity, is one of the largest agencies trading in the Lloyd’s insurance market. In addition to the UK, Kiln has offices in Hong Kong, Singapore, South Africa, France, Germany, Belgium and Brazil. For more information about Kiln, visit www.kilngroup.com.


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