COVID-19 insurance risks: How do organisations ensure resilience and business continuity management?

20 September 2020 Claude Hamman, Head of Specialist Risk Advisory at Indwe

This is part five in a series of six blog posts providing COVID-19 risk advice. In part four we unpacked what you can expect with the risk landscape going into 2021 and beyond.

There is no short answer for this question, however, a good place to start would be to ensure that the importance of business continuity is understood by all in the organisation.

Once this has been formally accepted (and documented) the organisation can begin its journey to improved resilience by creating an appropriate business continuity framework, and following the process of analysing, designing, implementing, validating and embedding the business continuity programme throughout the organisation.

If you are unsure about how to proceed with your business continuity plans, reach out to a risk management or business continuity professional for guidance and support. Both risk management and business continuity management have been formally standardised as ISO standards and there are several industry bodies who can recommend risk and business continuity management professionals to assist your organisation.

Resilience is not about identifying the specific event that could potentially disrupt and destroy an organisation, resilience is about ensuring the organisation can endure the impact of identified risks materialising, as well as the ability to flex resources to ensure the desired business resumption targets are achieved in the event of an unknown risk occurring.

Resilient organisations have prepared for multiple eventualities by making the required preparations to ensure sufficient redundancy or capacity, and bottlenecks are identified and managed ahead of the crisis. Resilient organisations use effective disaster recovery planning and business continuity management to ensure the organisation emerges from a crisis ahead of competitors who otherwise failed to prepare.

Insurers (focused on property damage and business interruption) will often request a copy of the organisations business continuity plans, in order to gauge the exposure from a BI perspective. Talk to a risk control and engineering specialist for advice on start-up risk assessments to assist businesses with restarting after a period of closure.

This will ensure regulatory compliance to COVID-19 and broader health and safety regulations. The future for many organisations is likely to be a state of continuous disruption, as businesses are forced to close and re-open because of the current pandemic. This requires a business approach and business continuity plan that will ensure minimum interruption and mitigation of risks.

Read part six in our risk advice series: What risk management strategies should organisations have in place?


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