Business concerned about natural catastrophes but underestimate technology risk

Sydney, 8 March 2013

Allianz 2013 Business Risks Survey

A global survey by Allianz finds that Australian business is most concerned about the risk of natural catastrophes such as storms and flood. However, the threat posed by more modern risks such as cybercrime is often underestimated.

The Allianz risk managers surveyed in Australia identified natural catastrophes (46 per cent of responses) and business interruption (33 per cent of responses) as the two top risks for corporate clients.

AGCS Pacific General Manager, Holger Schaefer, said “the concern about natural catastrophes in Australia is not surprising following the impact of such major events as the Victorian Black Saturday bushfires in 2009, the Melbourne and Perth hail storms in 2010 and the Queensland floods and Cyclone Yasi in 2011. After a relatively benign year for extreme weather events in 2012, the fires and floods of early 2013 have proved that the fears of business are well founded.”

The ‘Allianz Risk Barometer 2013’ Survey was conducted by Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty (AGCS), the Allianz Group’s international corporate and industrial insurance business. The Survey gathered opinions from 529 corporate and industrial insurance experts from 28 countries across the Allianz Group on the most important risks that companies in particular regions and sectors face in 2013.

Other key risks concerning companies in 2013 include:

• business and supply chain interruption;
• fire and explosion; and
• changes in legislation and regulation.

“Choosing to run lean global supply chains may reduce costs, but many companies lack alternative suppliers. The flooding disaster in Thailand showed that business interruption at a key supplier can cause a ripple effect felt across an entire global industry,” Mr Schaefer said.

According to the Allianz experts, businesses take some risks very seriously but widely underestimate others. For example, IT failures – whether self-inflicted by human error or due to cybercrime – can entail high economic losses in an increasingly digitized economy. Nonetheless, just 6 percent of Allianz experts think that their clients are really aware of this risk.

“Today’s global companies operate in a complex risk landscape that features traditional risks like fire as well as ultra-modern risks such as supply chain interruptions and cybercrime. Most companies are heavily reliant on IT systems and other technologies such as electronic sales, order and payment systems. Interruption to these systems due to cybercrime or even an old-fashioned electrical supply outage can have a significant impact on a business’s ability to operate. Australian businesses need to be more aware of these technology-related threats and ensure they have the appropriate risk management strategies, including insurance, in place to protect their financial sustainability,” according to Mr Schaefer.

Download a copy of the latest Allianz Risk Pulse: Focus on Business Risks 2013.

Allianz Australia

Large General Insurance Company of the Year 2012, 2011, 2009*
General Insurance Company of the Year 2012, 2010, 2007,2006**

Allianz Australia delivers a wide range of personal, commercial and corporate insurance products and services to more than 2 million policyholders. Over 50% of Australia’s top 200 BRW-listed companies have some form of insurance cover with the group and the group provides workers compensation services to around one-fifth of Australian employees.

*Australia & New Zealand Insurance Industry Awards
**Australian Banking and Finance Insurance Awards

About Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty

Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty (AGCS) is Allianz SE's dedicated insurance business for corporate and specialty insurance customers. AGCS provides insurance and risk management support across the whole spectrum of marine, aviation and corporate business, including Energy, Engineering, Financial Lines (incl. D&O), Liability and Property insurance, including International Insurance Programs.

Worldwide, AGCS operates in more than 150 countries through the Allianz Group network and through network partners. It employs more than 3,400 people and provides insurance solutions to more than half of the Fortune Global 500 companies, writing a total of €4.9 billion gross premium worldwide annually (2011).

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