The ever-shifting business landscape means all too often new risks are labelled ‘uninsurable’. But insurers do want to change this. Our latest campaign, #ChangingInsurance, aims to push things forward

For three days in June, the StrategicRISK international team came together in full force, leaving our offices in London, Hong Kong and Sydney to set up base in Harrogate, UK. We had two aims for Airmic’sannual conference: to fill our show dailies and website with breaking news from the event; and to gather intel on what our readers care about most.

The themes from those chats fill the pages of our latest issue. Political risks continue to be a hot discussion point, with global trade wars and Brexit forcing many risk managers to ask: What can they do to avoid becoming a casualty of trade war? 

Change was also a significant theme playing out in every single conversation that I had during my time in Harrogate. This is understandable when we are living through what is, quite possibly, the fastest change ever witnessed in business.

In today’s technologically advanced and globalised world, traditional business models are being disrupted, enhanced and reinvented, at an exponential pace.

The velocity of this change – and its breadth and impact – is being felt in almost all countries, sectors and markets. Its impact extends to entire systems of production, supply chains, distribution, and in areas of management and governance.

Not only does this mean that the risk landscape is changing but insurance solutions also need to evolve to keep pace with the fresh demands of business and the threats that keep risk managers awake at night.

Think about how risks have shifted from physical assets to intangibles. Following a data breach, reputation damage and non-damage business interruption (NDBI) are two of the most significant threats to business: these intangible risks are capable of causing long-term damage to market share, revenue and profits.

A recent survey by Airmic brings to life risk managers worries. For the third consecutive year since its launch, reputation damage was ranked the number one risk, followed by NDBI after a cyber attack.

Aon’s 2019 global risk management survey also highlights these risks: damage to reputation, cyber attacks, and data breach and business interruption (to both physical and non-physical assets) are among the top 10 risk concerns for European businesses. Respondents to Allianz’s Risk Barometer 2019 also ranked these risks among the worst.

These threats require sound enterprise risk management to prevent and mitigate. And insurance is one part of that mitigation strategy. But the problem, according to many risk managers, is the lack of suitable insurance – a dearth largely blamed on the absence of underwriting data, labelling these risks as ‘uninsurable’.

So, the team and I posed this question to insurers in Harrogate: how are you innovating to ensure your products can viably cover risks to intangible assets?

The resounding response was that insurers are listening – innovation is happening. But they need input from the risk community, one insurer said, “so we can direct innovation in the right places and continue offering services and products that are fit for purpose”.

Insurers all spoke of the importance of forming closer partnerships with risk managers, opening communication channels and fostering dialogue, “so that together, we can shape the future of insurance”.

That got the StrategicRISK team thinking. Can we contribute to this communication, share and disseminate important feedback and insight from the risk and insurance community on what they need and want? Can we help close the gap between insurer and buyer, in respect of risks to intangible assets?

And so new idea was born: #ChangingInsurance – a campaign promoting new thinking in insurance.

Backlit by the success of our #ChangingRisk campaign, #ChangingInsurance will gather the views of the global insurance buying community, insurers and brokers, on how they think insurance should evolve. To top off our campaign, we will bring together risk and insurance managers with brokers and insurers in a one-day event later in the year.

We launch our new campaign next month. So, if you fancy nudging insurance in the future with us, get in touch – I’d love to hear from you. Email me on: