Business bracing for ‘a year of uncertainty’

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The start of every year brings with it some uncertainties but it seems as though 2017 brings more than most.

From President Trump and Brexit to a closer than expected Australian election, the headlines of 2016 were peppered with themes of change and disruption. 2017 promises more of the same.

Mark Mitchell, regional CEO Asia of Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty, said that businesses around the globe are trying to prepare themselves for the unknown.
“Companies worldwide are bracing for a year of uncertainty,” Mitchell told CRI.

“They are concerned about rather unpredictable changes in the legal, geopolitical and market environment around the world.”

For brokers, this could mean an increased relevance for clients. With a deep understanding of the emerging risks businesses or industries may face, brokers will be able to cement their place as more than transactional partners with clients.

Mitchell noted that the global insurance industry is seeing a shift in terms of fear towards events that require no physical damage to property.

The recently released Allianz Risk barometer found that business interruption is the biggest risk faced by businesses in Australia, throughout the Asia Pacific region and around the world in 2016. However, while business interruption is not a new risk, businesses are beginning to fear less traditional ways that business interruption can be brought about - an increasing cyber threat, the interconnectivity of supply chains around the world and terrorism demonstrate that the nature of the risk is shifting towards non-damage events, Mitchell said.

“A range of new risks are emerging beyond the perennial perils of fire and natural catastrophes and require re-thinking of current monitoring and risk management tools,” Mitchell continued.

“Digital dilemmas such as the impact of new technologies on the risk profile of industries and cyber incidents are a rising concern as well.”

No-one knows what 2017 may hold but for brokers, now is the time to try and prepare clients for the unexpected.

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Allianz reveals biggest Australian business risks

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