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While nearly half the executives in a recent survey cited business interruption as their biggest weather-related concern, the Travelers Cos. Inc. said Thursday, nearly 40% of the respondents said they do not have a continuity plan in place, and roughly 10% didn’t know if one exists.
This was one of the findings from the New York-based insurer’s 2017 Risk Index that surveys the concerns of consumers and executives in 11 industry segments including construction, real estate, technology, retail, and banking and financial services.
The survey advised businesses to develop or update their business continuity plans, shore up their supply chain by maintaining regularly updated and tested contingency plans, including a list of potential backup suppliers, and regularly review their insurance policies and limits to ensure they are properly covered.
The report said risks concerning business leaders have remained consistent from previous years, dating from 2014, with medical cost inflation cited as the top concern, followed by cyber issues, the risk of increasing benefits costs, legal liability, attracting and retaining talent, and understanding and complying with U.S. government laws and regulations.
Under cyber concerns, the report found that security breaches were the most worrisome issue, followed by computers being damaged or going down, while access to the company’s banking accounts or financial control system ranked third.
The report said that banking and financial services businesses see more risk in their business environment, with 57% reporting that their business was becoming riskier, compared with 37% of all businesses.
The banking and financial services industry is much more concerned about specific cyber risks, the report said, with 71%, compared with 56% of all businesses, saying they worry a great deal about this affecting their business. The risks of legal liability and understanding or complying with government regulations were also of greater concern among banking and financial services companies.
“Businesses see emerging trends as representing some of the greatest opportunities and greatest risks,” the report said. “The trends that rank highest in terms of opportunity revolve around emerging technologies that connect people with products and information.”
The report said that the evolving workforce, with such issues as aging workers, the influx of millennials and the changing worker skill availability, represents the biggest risk for businesses, regardless of size.
Businesses overall were split over globalization, the report said, with 17% saying it’s an opportunity, while the same percentage view globalization as a threat.
A federal appeals court has reversed its earlier ruling and held a Travelers Cos. Inc. unit is not obligated to pay a subcontractor in a public project under its payment and performance bonds.