Survey: Execs Fall Short in Protecting Businesses Against Main Risks

August 28, 2015

A newly released survey revealed that nearly three quarters of business leaders are most concerned about potential risks associated with healthcare costs and cyber security threats to their organizations. The Graham Company, a Mid-Atlantic region’s insurance and employee benefits brokerage firm, announced the results from its 2015 Business Risk Survey, a national survey of 300 senior business professionals.

The survey also found that even though business leaders perceive that they are taking the adequate measures to protect their organizations, in reality they’re falling short of doing what’s necessary to mitigate the risk associated with these potential threats.

“In the modern-day business environment where everything is interconnected, the potential threats facing a business are immense,” said Ken Ewell, president and COO of The Graham Company. “This complexity of risks has caused many business leaders to become overwhelmed and unknowingly expose their businesses to risks that threaten their bottom line.”

When asked to consider the single biggest risk facing organizations, business leaders’ opinions varied, but cyber security had the highest proportion with 21 percent of respondents naming it as the number one risk they were most concerned about. Tied for the second greatest risk was professional liability (i.e., employee errors and omissions) and legal liability issues at 16 percent, followed by healthcare costs at 14 percent.

According to The Graham Company’s survey, 64 percent of respondents felt that their organization was either very well prepared or fairly well prepared to address the risks associated with healthcare costs, and 83 percent of respondents felt the same way about employee safety in the workplace. However, only slightly more than half of respondents regularly consulted with an insurance or risk management expert to review plans for mitigating risk.

“A one-size-fits-all approach to insurance and risk management isn’t adequate in today’s constantly evolving business environment,” continued Ewell. “Business leaders need to shift their risk management approach from passive and general, to proactive and specialized in order to protect their companies.”

Additional Survey Highlights:

Small Business Healthcare Costs – 60 percent of decision-makers at small businesses (between 50 and 499 employees) felt that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has had a negative impact on their organization. Reasons for these feelings include:

  • Higher healthcare costs;
  • Reduction in the quality of healthcare benefits offered because of trying to manage costs due to ACA
  • ACA requiring excessive internal resources;
  • Lower employee morale;
  • Changes in hiring;
  • Making it more difficult to recruit and retain well-qualified employees.

Big Business, Big Risk – 55 percent of respondents felt that their organization faces higher risks today compared to a few years ago. Despite 76 percent of large businesses (those with 5,000 or more employees) saying they’re prepared for reputational risk or liability faced by directors and executives of their organization, only 49 percent of them have directors and officers liability insurance.

Professional and Legal Liability – Nearly 70 percent of all respondents expressed concern over employee errors and mistakes causing damage to their business operations, yet only 56 percent of respondents have professional liability insurance to deal with these kinds of issues. Furthermore, more than half of the respondents demonstrated concern over legal liability and potential lawsuits. While 78 percent of respondents said they are prepared to deal with these legal matters, they aren’t taking the necessary precautions to mitigate the risk of these potential threats.

Cyber Threat Fears – Survey results show that companies’ fears regarding cyber threats are significant, with nearly half of respondents expressing that they felt there was a significant level or risk regarding the following:

  • A hacking incident leading to theft of customer information;
  • Inability to use the organization’s network;
  • Theft of employees’ private information;
  • Theft of intellectual property;
  • Inability to access the organization’s website.

Source: Graham Company

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