Is Your Business Ready to Respond to these Top Three Threats?

Three escalating threats have rapidly shifted the insurance landscape in Canada. Business owners in particular need to adapt their insurance programs and risk management strategies to effectively protect against these hazards. Discover how a broker can help you navigate these threats and work crucial coverages into your budget.

By Wendy Wildeman, VP, Commercial Lines

If the past few years have taught us anything, it would be the importance of assessing risk. Now more than ever, business owners must think about what could have a negative impact on their organization.

In the 15th Annual Emerging Risk Survey the top three emerging risks identified were:

  • Climate risks
  • Cyber concerns
  • Financial volatility

So, how do these risks impact you and what can you do to manage them?

Living in a Climate Risk Area

Extreme weather is nothing new to Canadians. We’ve experienced flooding, forest fires, severe hailstorms and blizzards in the past 10 years alone. In summer 2021 much of western Canada had record temperatures that rose above 40 degrees Celsius. In January 2020 where residents of Newfoundland experienced a historic blizzard that saw up to 93 cm of snow.

Extreme weather impacts your insurance. According to the Climate Risk Report from the Insurance Institute of Canada, severe weather and climate risks have replaced fire to become the costliest hazard for property insurance in Canada.

The Insurance Bureau of Canada reported that severe weather in 2021 caused $2.1 billion in insured damage.

While we may be at the mercy of Mother Nature, we are not helpless.

When looking at insurance for your commercial property, it’s important to identify and understand what your potential climate risks are. Are you in an area that has a history of flooding or wildfires? Have there been tornadoes or extreme storms?

Using improved construction materials can also help your buildings withstand punishing weather patterns (remember, underwriters consider construction materials when determining insurance rates).

Working with a broker to understand your policy is key to helping protect your property in the long run.

Protecting Against Cyber Criminals

Just like the weather, cybercrime is a part of our world and changes in the blink of an eye. Many experts say it’s more a question of when, than if a business will be hit by a cyber event.

New phrases have entered our lives – ransomware, social engineering, phishing – catching many off guard until they suffer a loss. Cybercrime is an area that is constantly evolving with more Canadians being targeted both personally and professionally. In 2021 Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre estimated that Canadians lost a total of $230 million to online fraud.

Navigating cybercrime is unfortunately part of running a business now. Data breaches and cyberattacks can impact businesses of any size and cyber insurers are experiencing a high volume of claims as attacks become more sophisticated. Because of this it can be difficult to obtain cyber protection at a favourable rate – but it doesn’t make it any less important.

Working with Rogers Insurance cyber liability insurance brokers who are experts in this area can ensure that you are protected in the instance of a breach. Nobody wants to learn the hard way that they can’t afford the often-catastrophic implications of a successful cyberattack.

It’s also essential for businesses of all sizes and in all sectors to take necessary precautions to protect against cyberattacks. Conducting routine IT audits and education sessions with your staff are key in helping guard against hackers, as is maintaining and improving your cyber hygiene.

Trying to Manage Financial Volatility

One only has to look back on the chaos created in the COVID-19 pandemic to understand why financial volatility made the top three emerging risks. “Expect the unexpected” could be the unofficial catch phrase of the past few years.

As seen around the world, most insurance policies did not cover loss of revenue based on an epidemic or pandemic. While the coverage did exist in specific situations (for example, Wimbledon had a policy for several years should a public health issue cause them to cancel their annual tennis tournament) this was not something the masses anticipated happening.

For many, the market continues to be volatile as they navigate the continued pressures that COVID-19 has brought. Larger organizations now have risk managers scrambling to create pandemic plans for business continuity, in addition to challenges such as global supply chain issues and labour shortages that the pandemic has exacerbated in recent years.

These issues underscore how crucial it is to prioritize extensive risk assessment and management. Working with a broker enables you to discuss how your business can mitigate such risks.

Brokers Support Your Wellbeing

Now more than ever, choosing a professional broker to assist you with your insurance program is key.

Rogers Insurance brokers specialize in a variety of industries and will help you investigate, navigate and mitigate how to best protect your property and finances.

They will work with you to help define your needs and help find the right policy for your budget. Working with someone who understands your needs and can negotiate on your behalf is key. And remember, the lowest priced product does not necessarily mean that you have the coverage best suited for your business.

Just like withholding details from your doctor could risk your personal wellbeing, the same is true for your insurance. Make sure that your conversations with your broker relay as much information as possible – otherwise you may be risking your financial wellbeing.

Wendy Wildeman is the Vice President, Commercial Lines, at Rogers Insurance. With more than 40 years of industry experience, Wendy specializes in real estate insurance, from development and construction to commercial and condominium management groups.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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