COVID-19 insurance risks: What should insurance and risk management advisers be doing?

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

This is part three in a series of six blog posts providing COVID-19 risk advice. In part two we unpacked what the risks mean for insurers.

COVID-19 may be centre stage but, if one reads the World Economic Forum’s Global Risks Report 2020, there are many risks which demand insurance and risk management advisors’ attention.

Experts are talking about Black Swans and Grey Rhinos as risks that may destroy countries and companies. It is our job to prepare our organisations with effective resilience and business continuity measures to ensure that we can survive another “COVID-19” type event. If a Business Continuity plan was not in place or it was found to be lacking in some respect, now is the time to prepare and build resilience.

Many organisations were forced to take extreme measures to ensure continuity and enable remote working practices without much preamble to the lockdown and the wider COVID-19 crisis. Entire supply chains were shut down and customers all but disappeared for fear of contracting the virus.

The unintended consequences of the lockdown and control measures taken during lockdown have not yet fully been realised, as risks and opportunities continue to emerge. The digitisation of many business was forced by the lockdown which creates new opportunities for growth but also opens the door for more cybercrime and cyber risks.

The WEF Risk Report 2020 highlights several catastrophic risks including, but not limited to, cyber threats and the impact of global warming or sever weather events as key risks which could fundamentally impact economies around the world. Consider the impact if any one (or more) of the major WEF risks follow the global pandemic crisis in the next decade.

Which of these global risks are currently insurable? Cybercrime, for example, has remained a major threat. It is best to secure effective cyber liability cover and implement effective cyber risk mitigation measures, to protect against the next crisis before the next major disaster strikes and the cover is removed from the market.

For the uninsurable risks, an organisation must decide which risks they are willing to accept and which of those they can avoid entirely by rethinking their internal systems or products, and processes.

Read part four in our risk advice series: What can we expect going into 2021 and beyond?


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