US business owners seek increased insurance protection amid mounting risks – study

(Reuters) – An overwhelming number of business owners in the United States are looking to expand their insurance coverage amid risks ranging from climate change to cyber attacks, a study by global insurance brokerage Gallagher showed on Tuesday.

Around 83% of business owners said they were either actively looking for or are very likely to seek additional insurance policies.

Over the next 12 months, risks arising from climate change and natural disasters are a major concern for 68% of business owners, according to the study.

Severe storms and wildfires across parts of North America brought cities to a near standstill earlier this year, with U.S. severe convective storm (SCS) insured losses exceeding $34 billion in the first six months of 2023, a July report by Gallagher Re, the reinsurance broker division of Gallagher, revealed.

“The devastation caused by natural disasters has heightened urgency for adequate protection,” CEO Patrick Gallagher told Reuters, adding that there is ongoing demand for insurance coverage to secure properties, homes and businesses from potential damages and losses linked to these events.

He added that cyber insurance is also in focus, as businesses’ exposure to potential attacks increases, with the growing reliance on technology and digital infrastructure.

An overwhelming 74% of the respondents in the survey expressed extreme or very high concern about the impact of cyber attacks on their businesses.

Earlier this year, hackers took advantage of a previously undiscovered flaw in a popular file transfer program – MOVEit Transfer – to steal data from a wide swathe of organizations including accounting giants EY and PwC, energy firm Shell and major U.S. pension fund Calpers.

(Reporting by Manya Saini in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel)