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Mid-Sized Companies Are Significantly More Concerned about Risks in 2022, Yet Are Not More Prepared

Top concerns continue around financial, digital and business interruption risks...

The level of concern measured for a wide range of business risks rose 18% on average from 2021 to 2022, according to the third annual Mid-Sized Company Risk Report from QBE North America and the Association for Corporate Growth.

The report showed that financial, digital, and business interruption risks are top concerns for mid-sized business leaders. While they indicated that they are most prepared for the risks that cause the highest level of concern, fewer than half have a mitigation plan in place for most risks, and nearly three quarters stated unmet needs in their responses.

"Companies are increasingly feeling vulnerable as they confront supply chain issues, labor shortages, inflation and recession fears, and a host of other issues," said Chris McGrath, Head of Middle Market P&C Insurance at QBE North America. "This heightened concern, however, has not yet translated into improved preparedness as they may be struggling with a lack of capacity and expertise to put proper plans in place. That's a gap we seek to fill by better understanding our customers' businesses and unique risks, then delivering customized insurance solutions and services."

The report showed that companies are looking to engage with their insurance providers for loss control planning and claims support more than ever before, with a full 90% indicating a high level of interest in doing so (a percentage that has risen each year). When expressing the need for customized advice and insurance products to mitigate risks, coverage for digital assets was most often cited. Companies are also increasingly seeking crisis management and recovery services and high quality, reliable service from providers.

Read the full report:

QBE North America's 2022 Mid-Sized Company Risk Report, produced in partnership with the Association for Corporate Growth (ACG), is based on a survey of executives in a variety of risk management roles at companies with $200 million to $3 billion in revenues from a cross section of industries. Now in its third year, the report discusses mid-sized company executives' level of concern for 12 macro and 97 micro risks, whether companies have risk management plans in place to address each of these risks, and their top needs for reducing their risk exposure.

"QBE is committed to enabling our mid-sized business customers and broker partners to build a more resilient future and giving them confidence to continue innovating and taking measured risks," said Tom Fitzgerald, President, Commercial Insurance at QBE North America. "This annual study has become a key source of knowledge about the most significant business risks for mid-sized companies in the US."

Additional 2022 Key Findings

  • Organizational risk rose to become the fourth most concerning macro risk after financial, digital, and business interruption. Executives pointed to risks surrounding M&A deals as a main driver, fearing failure to realize the benefits and synergies of the merger.
  • Cyberattacks and theft of various sorts are top concerns. For the third year in a row, cyberattacks topped the list of micro risks. Fraud/theft, corporate espionage/theft of critical data, and intellectual property theft/loss were also key concerns.
  • Concern about employee health remains, despite an ease in pandemic fears. Executives expressed concern about medical cost inflation, increasing benefits costs, and accidents, health issues and workers' compensation.

"Risk mitigation is top of mind today for ACG's private equity members in particular, after many acquired businesses during the dealmaking frenzy of 2021," says Kathryn Mulligan, Content Director for ACG's Media Group. "As this report shows, it's increasingly important that they have the right partners, guidance and a supportive network of peers in the value creation community in order to manage the risks facing their portfolio companies and to achieve performance goals."

The survey was conducted by the independent market research firm HawkPartners from June 28 to July 12, 2022, and included more than 300 decision makers at US companies. The report's findings will be featured in an upcoming issue of ACG's official publication, Middle Market Growth® Magazine.

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