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Report: Crisis Management Needs Unmet for 60% of Mid-Sized Businesses


Nearly 60 percent of mid-sized businesses said crisis management remains a top unmet need in terms of reducing risk exposure.

At the same time, a little over a third said they're concerned about rising insurance rates, according to a new QBE North America report.

"We need to look to the future and understand what risks middle market companies worry about most to design effective solutions to address those evolving risks, whether it's a new type of insurance coverage or loss prevention or recovery service," Tom Fitzgerald, President of QBE North America's Specialty & Commercial business, said in prepared remarks.

The QBE North America 2020 Mid-Sized Company Risk Report, produced with the Association for Corporate Growth (ACG), focused on the top concerns among executives at companies with $200 million to $3 billion in revenues.

The report also captures worries tied to the current environment, including pandemic risks, social unrest and climate concerns.

At the same time, it is not all about the pandemic for mid-sized businesses. QBE North America noted that many companies also remain worried about general business risks, citing concerns around financial risks, digital assets, litigation and talent and culture. Businesses had risk reduction shortfalls in all of those areas.

Just 37 percent of mid-sized businesses said they have a pandemic risk mitigation strategy. Only a third – 30 percent said they have a macroeconomic risk mitigation strategy to combat recession. About 40 percent reported having a natural disaster risk mitigation strategy, and 25 percent said they maintain a climate change risk mitigation strategy.

Among the additional findings:

  • Along with crisis management, nearly 60 percent of mid-size businesses say they are also lacking in customized advice in terms of reducing risk exposure.
  • Concerning pandemic-related risks, 32 percent said that ensuring employee safety is a concern. About 22 percent said it is a top risk.
  • 33 percent said the pandemic's impact on cash flow was a top worry, and 17 percent called it a top risk.
  • 33 percent said they were concerned about rising insurance rates; 9 percent rated this as a top worry.
  • 21 percent rated operations performance and fraud/theft as a top financial risk concern.
  • Social unrest ranked as the sixth most concerning business interruption risk for 2020.

Among digital risks, cyberattacks (37 percent), data integrity (35 percent), and disruptive technology (32 percent) rate among the biggest concerns for mid-sized businesses.

Concerning risks related to litigation, 23 percent of respondents said they are most concerned about customer lawsuits, underscoring the pressure social inflation is adding to businesses.

The survey was conducted by the independent market research firm HawkPartners from June 24 to July 8, 2020 and included more than 300 decision makers at U.S. companies.

Source: QBE North America