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Emerging risks in a fast-changing world

  • Adroit Insurance and Risk
  • November 13, 2014

The world is constantly changing – and changing fast. Emerging risks that weren’t even heard of 10 years ago are now threatening the future of many of our businesses.

Risks such as reputation damage and product liability, combined with rising levels of litigation mean business owners need to be more risk-savvy than ever.

Each year insurers look at developing trends in business and the wider community as they delve to understand the sort of risks emerging in our ever-changing world. Swiss Re, one of the world’s largest reinsurers, reports annually on trends that could impact on insurance in the next few years.

Here are some of the threats they have researched this year:

Cloud computing:

Storing our information in the cloud makes things very easy, there’s no doubt about that. Being able to access your files anywhere, anytime has been hailed as a huge step forward, particularly in terms of running a business. However, hackers are constantly searching for ways to access your sensitive information for their own benefit and business owners need to consider these vulnerabilities.

Concussion in sport:

Australian sporting bodies have increasing concerns about concussion risks in contact sports, especially as athletes become stronger and the games get faster. Local sporting clubs and leagues need to be mindful of these risks and be adequately protected in the unfortunate event of a serious injury. Liability claims from sports injuries can potentially bankrupt smaller organisations, placing our local sporting institutions – which we Australians value so much at serious risk.

Financial consumer protection regulation:

Regulators face pressure to protect consumers and restore their confidence. While this is all well and good for the consumers, it can potentially lead to more product liability, recall claims and increased intervention in product innovation. As these regulations become more stringent, businesses need to increase their level of protection to cover any regulatory intervention.

Food and water safety:

As agriculture becomes more intense, new issues will arise – everything from land cultivation techniques and water sourcing to food processing and distribution. Polluters, farmers and food producers could face increased controls and litigation. These risks mean added uncertainty for farmers’ livelihoods, which can be addressed with more a comprehensive insurance package.

Collapse of oceanic ecosystems:

Increasing pollution levels may harm the marine ecosystem to the point where biodiversity is threatened and it will be impossible to recover. The impact on society and businesses of all kinds is alarming, particularly in Australian communities who rely heavily on our pristine marine environments for tourism and produce.

We can’t predict the future, but we can look at current trends to give us a better idea as to what the future holds.

At Adroit, we consider trends like the ones mentioned above, as well as the specific details of your business to give you the most comprehensive, tailored protection possible. Your business and your livelihood deserve protection from current and emerging risks and the right insurance cover can go a long way to achieving that.

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