By Ranamita Chakraborty
A recent research report from Airmic, a UK-based association for risk and insurance professionals, demonstrated that the scale and velocity of the COVID-19 pandemic took many organisations by surprise.
At the same time, it found that risk professionals are receiving more board time than ever before as pandemic disruption erodes internal organisational barriers.
The report shows that while most businesses had pandemic on their risk registers, the response plans were designed to cope with a localised disease rather than a global pandemic. Few businesses had taken into account the speed and extent to which lockdowns were imposed and in particular the near total cessation of international travel.
With risk professionals taking a central role in managing the coronavirus crisis, Airmic said its members are having more contact with boards and senior management. They are also more firmly embedded in organisational decision-making.
Therefore, the association argues that the COVID-19 situation is an opportunity for risk professionals to demonstrate the value of their work to their organisations.
Responding to unique pandemic risks
The ‘Top risks and megatrends 2020’ report has been produced in collaboration with AIG, Control Risks, KPMG, QBE and Willis Towers Watson. It identifies the biggest risks facing UK organisations and exposes how businesses and risk professionals have responded to the global pandemic.
Based on an in-depth survey of Airmic members and qualitative research, the report also offers guidance on how to navigate five risk megatrend areas in the context of the global pandemic: Cyber and technology; climate and environment; trust and reputation; geopolitics and populism; and governance, laws and regulation.
The report also highlights the impact of the pandemic on insurance buying trends. Even before the pandemic, the hardening market meant that a lack of adequate insurance cover at an affordable premium was emerging as a risk in itself.
Airmic warns that “an ill-judged response to the pandemic” could trigger a flight to alternative transfer options including captives and it urges insurers, brokers and insurance buyers to work together openly and constructively – particularly during the ongoing pandemic.
Asia Insurance Review