Many risk managers feel they have been in firefighting mode for the last two years, struggling to stay ahead of one crisis after another. Reporting risks is no longer enough. It is critical that risk managers are able to prepare for risks before they happen.
While new risks have emerged in the recent years, traditional risks have also increased. In the last five years, insured losses from natural catastrophes have resumed a long-term growth rate of 5% to 7% annually, following a benign phase of lower annual losses in the 2012-2016 period.
Risk managers have also had to deal with a hardening insurance market and all that brings – a rise in premiums and exclusions and a reduction in capacity and coverage. This was an issue that dominated the agenda at the recently-held German risk and insurance management association (GVNW) forum in Munich.
GNVW president Alexander Mahnke spoke of insurers’ insistence of ‘territorial exclusions’ for Russia, Belarus and Ukraine that would exclude those countries as part of an international insurance programme. Meanwhile, Christian Böhm, managing director (insurance) at global technology group Freudenberg, spoke of the frustration at the insurance market’s shift to “exclusion mode rather than innovation mode” and a reduction in much-needed capacity.
One area where the lack of capacity is conspicuous is in business interruption. Not only has coverage declined but the likelihood of long business interruptions has increased. For example, the cost and waiting times for replacing machinery have both increased; the availability of spare parts has declined, as has the number of skilled mechanics and mechanics in general.
And the lack of insurance will itself make recovery from BI much more difficult.
The concerns around BI were evident in the floods that wreaked damage on households and business in Germany in 2021. The lack of restoration companies, insurers and other service providers was exposed for all to see, contributing to the commercial trauma experienced by so many small and medium enterprises.
Consequently, the floods also showed why risk managers must try and get ahead of the crisis and how a solution like BELFOR’s RED ALERT is of critical importance in today’s market.
As one senior risk manager said: “It seems that we are always struggling, always in firefighting mode, always trying not to drown, always in the middle of the storm. We need to get ahead of the wave. We need to prepare for foreseeable challenges and risks before they happen. We need to get ahead of the wave. Only reporting risks is not enough.”
BELFOR’s RED ALERT service is structured to work alongside companies’ response plans and emergency procedures so that recovery can be more rapid and effective, and that any gaps in business continuity plans can be minimised.
- BELFOR covers entire supply chains across all continents.
- RED ALERT® clients receive exclusive access to a dedicated hotline.
- RED ALERT® clients enjoy priority status. In the event of a national disaster and increased demand, RED ALERT® clients skip the line and get served first.
- No two businesses or even industries are alike. This is why BELFOR experts’ bring in specialist knowledge and experience of all businesses, being able to customise their services before, during and after a business interruption.
- By their nature, emergencies create uncertainty. RED ALERT® supports companies in defining their appropriate level of service, which corresponds to their prevention planning, making their business more resilient.
- The first hours following a disaster are crucial. Step-by-step protocols tailored to the client’s needs reduce the impact of any business interruption. That way, companies are ideally prepared for both minor incidents and worst-case scenarios.
The rise in natural catastrophes and business interruption, the decline in insurance capacity and the need for companies to manage their own risk are all subjects that are likely to be discussed at this year’s Ferma forum in Copenhagen next month.
Ferma’s 2022 European Risk Management Survey showed that risks such as cyber and supply chain failures have increased rapidly, as has the importance of the risk manager’s role. “Resilience is more than ever a priority for top management and the role of the risk manager is evolving as a result,” said Ferma President Dirk Wegener. “We see risk managers taking on additional responsibilities, particularly for business continuity and crisis management.”
BELFOR will be present at the forum and will take part in the discussions and debates and listen to the demands and concerns of the risk managers. On October 12, the day after the Ferma Forum, BELFOR is also inviting around 100 customers to its own event at BELFOR’s Danish headquarters in Slagelse, where their services and expertise will be presented.