The Top Ten Risks of 2015
WGA announces the Top Ten Risks of 2015, a forecast of some of the major business risks facing companies over the coming year.
1. Clean Tech Risks in Response to Lima Protocol
The recent U.N. Climate Change Conference in Lima, Peru just ended, calling for nearly 200 countries to set out specific climate change targets during Q1 of 2015. Massive new concentrations of wind and solar energy farms bring about new risk aggregations for the coming decades.
2. Data Breach Dangers
After a series of high profile and costly cyber breaches in 2014, cybersecurity will face new risks of lost and/or exposed data. The Sony and J.P. Morgan cases highlight how cyber exposures can cause profit losses and expose firms to employment risks.
3. Regulatory Audit Compliances
The U.S. government and other healthcare payers expand their audits with government contractors empowered to audit more providers for revenue claw backs. Insurers will look to respond with more insurance protection and better risk management.
4. Patent Trolls
As money hungry patent trolls threaten small and mid-market tech firms, the insurance world has responded with a real solution to protect companies facing patent litigation.
5. Cyber Claims
Cyber claims will move from being theoretical to having a history; some insurers will respond with competitively superior capabilities to respond in a timely fashion and thereby win market share.
6. Proliferation of Shared Economy Companies
Uber, AirBnB, Task Rabbit and others face expanding calls for more assumption of regulated risks.
7. Non-Physical Damage Business Interruption
From Ebola and other Pandemic Disease quarantines, to the expansion of drugmakers’ inspection risks, the possibility of business interruption without physical damage continues to grow.
8. B Corporation – Competing Shareholder Interests
The challenges facing B corporations are twofold – balancing competing shareholder interests surrounding profit goals against the company’s social mission. This creates unique and complex risks for the directors and officers, and given the infancy of B Corps, a lack of predictability surrounding liability issues still exists.
9. International Travel
As the economic recovery takes hold, the world gets even smaller; worldwide healthcare and evacuation plans have become an absolute necessity for companies with international operations and whose employees travel through high-risk areas.
10. Medical Marijuana
Twenty-three states have legalized medical marijuana, and that number is expected to keep growing, prompting insurers to develop specialized programs that cover the unique risks that accompany the sale and use of the drug.
In an increasingly competitive and complex business world, forecasting future risks and challenges isn’t easy, but it’s incredibly important. From new risk aggregations brought on by clean technology to the struggle against patent infringement and cybercrime, WGA is focused on helping companies prepare to tackle these risks head on.
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About the Author
Phil Edmundson is the Chairman and CEO of WGA, insurance brokers and consultants for businesses, with over 30 years in the insurance industry. He manages strategy, talent acquisition and development, and management / acquisitions at WGA.