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Cyber incidents are now the top corporate concern globally, overtaking business interruption events which had ranked as the top global peril for seven years in the annual Allianz Risk Barometer 2020, released Tuesday.
Munich-based Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty SE said that changes in legislation and regulation and climate change also are major concerns for corporations, highlighting the U.S.-China trade war, Brexit and global warming.
Survey participants were asked to name up to three risks they were most concerned about for their industries.
Some 39% of respondents to Allianz’s ninth survey said they were concerned about cyber incidents, compared with 37% for business interruption. Companies are more aware of cyber threats with their increased reliance on data and IT systems and after several larger and more costly data breaches, Allianz said.
“Now that cyber has moved up, it points to the fact there are a lot of concerns around cyber as an exposure,” said Thomas Varney, Chicago-based regional manager of the Americas for Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty in an interview.
Allianz has changed its operation to address cyber risks “specifically, with specific underwriters, loss control, and specific claims people,” he said.
Allianz is one of several large insurers that have sought to either exclude or affirmatively cover so-called silent cyber exposures in commercial insurance policies.
“It requires special understanding between the insurance carrier, broker and the client as to what is their situation and possible exposures they might have that are not the most obvious,” Mr. Varney said, adding: “It’s not just the external person hacking you but the internal steps that need to happen as a business to make sure you’ve protected yourself.”
The results, based on a survey of 2,718 experts, including Allianz customers, brokers, industry trade organizations and staff, from 102 countries during October and November 2019, found that changes in legislation and regulation were the third biggest concern.