Hiscox has bucked market trends among event insurers by saying it will consider offering cover against cancellations arising from bird flu, albeit for an additional premium.

David Bruce, head of speciality division, said: "It is a standard exclusion but sometimes you need to be different. Right now everyone is worried but we will be giving clients, where possible, the choice of buying cover."

He said there was strong demand for avian flu to be covered from those running major events and Hiscox had decided against applying a blanket exclusion.

It is believed Hiscox is among the insurers covering this year's World Cup in Germany. Bruce said that he would look at offering avian flu cover for smaller events too.

Rival event insurer SLE Worldwide said it had imposed a blanket exclusion on bird flu.

Richard Higgs, underwriting manager for events insurers SLE Worldwide said: "Bird flu is a common exclusion - it is a communicable diseases involving restriction of movement.

"If there is an outbreak and an event is cancelled, then the policy won't help, he added."