American businesses large and small say medical cost inflation, legal liabilities and technology risks are among their top concerns, according to the baseline findings of a new annual Business Risk Index from Travelers (NYSE:
). The survey polled more than 1,100 business decision makers to better understand what they believe poses the biggest threat to their business. Many leaders said the risks they identified as their biggest concerns are also the issues their business is least prepared to address.
“While the new Business Risk Index revealed some typical risks for businesses, it also uncovered some uncertainties that are indicative of the times, including medical cost inflation and technology risks,” said Bill Cunningham, Executive Vice President of Business Insurance at Travelers. “Many respondents believe their businesses are least prepared to handle these risks. The good news is that many of these risks can be mitigated and there are resources available to help businesses of any size stay protected.”
Amidst a rapidly changing healthcare landscape and recent, highly publicized cyber breaches, the top risks identified by those polled included:
- 67 percent thought medical cost inflation was a leading risk for their business;
- 58 percent cited legal liability issues, such as omissions and errors;
- 53 percent were concerned about technology issues including data risks, such as hacking and viruses; and
- 52 percent reported concerns with understanding and complying with U.S. government laws and regulations that may affect their business or industry.
Despite the fact that 48 percent of respondents believe the world is growing riskier, only about one in four (24 percent) business decision makers say that preventing, preparing for and responding to risk is a strategic priority. Of this group, small businesses were least likely to name risk management as a strategic priority or an important management activity compared to large and medium-sized companies.