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Covid-related risks dominate Allianz Risk Barometer 2021

Given the unprecedented disruption caused by the coronavirus outbreak, it is no surprise that business interruption and the pandemic outbreak top the 2021 Allianz Risk Barometer, an annual survey on global business risks from Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty (AGCS).

A trio of Covid-19 related risks — business interruption, the pandemic outbreak and cyber incidents— heads up the 10th Allianz Risk Barometer 2021, reflecting potential disruption and loss scenarios companies are facing in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

Business interruption (#1 at 41%) and the pandemic outbreak (#2 at 40%) are this year’s top global business risks with cyber incidents (40%) ranking a close third.  All three risks, and many of the others in this year’s top 10 are interlinked, demonstrating the growing vulnerabilities and uncertainty of our highly globalized and connected world, where actions in one place can spread rapidly to have global effects. Looking forward, the pandemic shows companies need to prepare for a wider range of business interruption triggers and extreme events than before. Building greater resilience in supply chains and business models will be critical for managing future exposures.

From an African perspective

The global top three risks also feature as the top risks which concern businesses the most in Africa: Pandemic Outbreak (#1 at 36%), Business interruption (moves from #1 to #2 with 36%) and Cyber incidents now at #3, from #2 last year. The three risks feature prominently in South Africa, Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Senegal, Ivory Coast, Morocco and Cameroon. In South Africa though, Cyber incidents still rank as the top risk with 48% of the responses, with cyber security companies identifying us as a hot spot for criminals in this field.

Rank (2021) Risk Percent 2020 rank 2019 rank
1 Cyber incidents (e.g. cyber crime, IT failure/outage, data breaches, fines and penalties) 48% 1 2
2 Business interruption (incl. supply chain disruption) 39% 2 1
3 Pandemic outbreak (e.g. health and workforce issues, restrictions on movement) 29% New
4 Changes in legislation and regulation (e.g. trade wars and tariffs, economic sanctions, protectionism, Brexit, Euro-zone disintegration) 24% 3 3
5 Political risks and violence (e.g. political instability, war, terrorism, civil commotion, riots and looting) 18% New
6 Critical infrastructure blackouts (e.g. disruption of power) 18% 5 New
7 Climate change/increasing volatility of weather 14% 6 8
8 New technologies (e.g. impact of artificial intelligence, autonomous vehicles, 3D printing, Internet of Things, nanotechnology, blockchain) 13% 8 5
9 Natural catastrophes (e.g. storm, flood, earthquake, wildfire) 12% 9 9
9 Shortage of skilled workforce 12% New

Sad to think that, a few years ago, regulatory changes topped the list by a country mile. I bet that, given the option, most of us would far rather opt for that, than the present scenario.

Click here to download the detailed Allianz Risk Barometer report.

Click here to download the Appendices with top risks per country.

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