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The top 10 global business risks in 2021

By Andrew Saville on

With the events of 2020 still heavily impacting the way in which we live and how businesses operate, the top global risks for businesses in 2021 will come as no surprise…

The Allianz Risk Barometer 2021 - top global business risks 

The Allianz Risk Barometer 2021, has rated the top three threats to business as business interruption, followed by pandemic outbreak and Cyber incidents.

The other significant risks that round out the 2021 risk barometer top 10 include: market developments, changes in legislation and regulation, natural catastrophes, fire / explosion, macroeconomic developments, climate change / increasing volatility of weather and finally, political risks and violence

When looking at these risks, how prepared do you think your business is if one of these were to affect you? What measures do you have in place to reduce the potential impact on your strategic objectives?

The advice and Insurance solutions recommended by a specialist insurance broker can be a highly effective way to mitigate risk. 

Using insurance to transfer risk 

Insurance can be a highly effective method to address and mitigate the top 10 business risks featured on the Allianz Risk Barometer for 2021.

It’s evident that many of the risks and challenges posing a threat to businesses in 2021 are somewhat beyond our control. What you can control however, is having an insurance program that actively mitigates risks to your business wherever possible, allowing you to better handle adverse events and absorb losses in a claim.

The recent NSW and QLD storm catastrophe is a prime example of this, where homes and businesses suffered millions of dollars’ worth of damage. Without suitable insurance in place, many business owners would not be able to afford to repair or replace damage to their office or retail space, stock and equipment, the list goes on.

A specialist insurance broker can ensure your business has a highly targeted, personalised insurance strategy, providing specialist advice and placement solutions that align to manage your risk exposures.

What can you do to protect your business against the top 3 risks in 2021?  

  • Business Interruption 
  • Pandemic outbreaks 
  • Cyber incidents

Business interruption - Business Pack Insurance 

A Business Pack Insurance policy can be effective in protecting your business from the damage inflicted by business interruption, fire / explosions and volatile weather.

A Business Pack policy can protect:

  • Your assets such as building, stock, plant and office equipment
  • The continuing financial viability of your business should you have an insurable loss and,
  • Your legal liability for personal injury and/or damage to property caused by a negligent act of an employee whilst engaged in work activity.

Pandemic outbreaks

Pandemic outbreaks are far beyond our control, a primary reason why it can be such a stressful event. It can lead to workplace health and safety issues, brand reputation risk via negative media exposure if your business becomes caught up in it, or loss of income in an imposed shutdown.

While insurance may not necessarily be able to protect against all of these exposures, risk mitigation can come in other forms:

  • Following recommended work health and safety guidelines when it comes to limiting the spread of COVID-19
  • A well thought out Crisis Management Plan to ensure you have clear steps to follow in the event of an outbreak e.g. PR strategy, health measures etc. Here is a link to the COVID safe business planning template provided by Australia’s National COVID-19 Commission Advisory Board (NCC). Click here to access the My Business COVIDSafe Plan template.
  • While it is still up for legal debate as to whether Business Interruption Insurance can protect against financial losses as a result of a pandemic, risk mitigation can come in other forms. While not ideal, there may be steps you can take to pivot your business model, incorporating new ideas to generate alternative revenue streams.

Cyber incidents - Cyber Liability Insurance

A risk not covered in traditional business insurance policies, many businesses overlook the inclusion of Cyber Insurance in their insurance program. With cyber incidents becoming increasingly commonplace and now ranking as the third highest risk to businesses, Cyber Insurance is essential to any business that uses or relies on the internet in any capacity.

A Cyber Insurance policy can provide:

  • Financial compensation to recoup costs that result from a security breach – including business interruption, IT recovery costs and regulatory fines – which can amount to $1.8 million.
  • Compensation for clients and customers who suffer financially or emotionally as a result of stolen data.
  • Cover for legal representation and costs that incorporate forensic and legal counsel.
  • Access to the services of professional consultants to assist in repairing damage to your company’s brand and reputation following a cyber-incident.

If you are unsure about your insurance coverage, or would like professional insurance advice to help address the Allianz Risk Barometer Top 10 Business Risks of 2021, contact one of Whitbread’s business insurance specialists.

T: 1300 424 627


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This article is not intended to be personal advice and you should not rely on it as a substitute for any form of personal advice.  Please contact Whitbread Associates Pty Ltd ABN 69 005 490 228 License Number: 229092 trading as Whitbread Insurance Brokers for further information or refer to our website.

The Whitbread Channel

Lia de Sousa

Nobody thought we would still be working from home 18 months later when the pandemic began last year. No matter your situation at home, whether you are living alone, home-schooling children, or having to share the same workspace as your partner, we believe it's best to stick to a routine during lockdowns.

Storm clouds
Renee Cassidy

The recent flooding in NSW and QLD, plus a late season cyclone in WA, are stark reminders that wild weather events are occurring with greater frequency and increasing severity. In light of this, it is important to know what to do in a property claims emergency for both your business and your home.

Having a clear process to follow will help ensure you achieve the best possible outcome in what is a highly stressful situation, where decision making can be clouded.


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