Canadian Underwriter

Mid-sized business leaders cite ‘customized risk management advice’ as top need for reducing exposure

November 5, 2021   by Canadian Underwriter Staff

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Customized risk management advice ranks highest among the top needs of mid-sized businesses to reduce their risk exposure, a new survey found.

The findings suggest there’s an opportunity for brokers and risk managers to deepen risk management conversations with clients.

The latest annual Mid-Sized Company Risk Report from QBE North America and the Association for Corporate Growth, surveyed executives in risk management roles at companies with US$200 million to US$3 billion in revenue to reveal the macro and micro risks of mid-sized businesses. It examined whether these companies have risk management plans to address each of the risks and their top needs for reducing their risk exposure.

Of those surveyed, “risk management advice customized to my industry or business” ranked highest (56%) in top needs for reducing risk exposure, followed by insurance products more customized to their business’ needs (48%).

Further, 67% of respondents said they had unmet needs in terms of understanding and reducing their risk exposure, up from 58% in 2020 – with digital assets protection/coverage (17%) topping the list and risk management expertise provided by industry (15%) coming in second. Both are up significantly from 2020, the report stated.

Interest in interacting with an insurer’s loss-risk control department also increased, with four out of five mid-sized companies indicating they’re now “very interested” in doing so.


What keeps your mid-sized clients up at night?

Financial risk, digital risk, business interruption and pandemic concerns top the list of macro risks for mid-sized company leaders, the report found.

COVID-19 is “still very much on business leaders’ minds as a top risk, but even after spending 18 months in a global pandemic, fewer than half (46%) of companies surveyed have a mitigation strategy for pandemic-associated risks,” the report said.

Compared to 2020, concern about risks related to climate change increased significantly, however it still ranks as the least-concerning risk.

Most concerning risks for mid-sized businesses:

  • Financial risk – 61%
  • Digital risk – 60%
  • Business interruption risk – 55%
  • Risk related to a pandemic – 51%
  • Liability risk – 44%

When it comes to examining specific, or micro, risks the survey found six of the 10 involved employees, including fraud/theft, cybersecurity concerns tied to working from home, attracting and retaining talent, accidents and health issues, organization performance and internal bias/lack of a diversity framework.

Top needs for reducing risk exposure included:

  • Risk management advice customized to industry/business – 56%
  • Insurance products more customized to business needs – 48%
  • Packaged insurance products to create holistic risk solutions – 45%
  • Crisis management/recovery services – 43% (this was the top need in 2020 at 52%)
  • More reasonable rates from current provider – 41%
  • Educational and business networking services through insurer – 35%