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Has Covid-19 impacted Business confidence and general approach to risk? The Case for Bullish Growth

By Oliver Power

Oct-07-2021

Covid-19 upended the world of business: like a charging bull in the china shop, we have still yet to fully understand the final bill for the destruction. But that doesn’t stop us having a preliminary look at the scenario post the ravages and then extracting Immediate ‘lessons learned’ whilst still fresh in the mind.

 

Anecdotal evidence thus far suggests that the resulting economic hardship has fundamentally altered not only the way businesses operate, but also their outlook heading into 2022 and beyond. It appears that business leaders are now more concerned with preparation for long-tail risks and solidifying operational resilience than perhaps at any point in recent history.

 

Aon recently published findings from a report titled “A New Approach to Volatility: the importance of making better decisions”. In the report they surveyed 800 senior executives from around the world across the technology, finance, production and service industries to ascertain how such organisations prepared for and responded to interconnected risks, namely Covid-19.

 

Key Takeaways from the report:

 

  • Businesses who took a holistic approach to preparing for risks and accounted for the interconnectedness of threats, performed better than those who did not.
  • 70% of businesses recognised that the pandemic exposed new risks which will require due care and attention in the future.
  • Operational resilience is key, many executives have been taking on more risk in order to build additional resilience. 80% of business had re-assessed their risk appetite and found that they had additional appetite.
  • 55% of executives were interested in raising new capital, financing or debt, with the majority elaborating that system or technological development was the main area of planned expenditure.
  • Of the four industries assessed (Finance, Tech, Production and Services), the service industry was the least prepared for the pandemic.

 

The case for Bullish growth:

 

Although not the primary purpose of the report, the findings portrayed a positive picture for the global economy, with sustainable growth and increasing confidence clear to see.

 

  • 79% of businesses had an increased revenue in the first half of 2021, with 40% seeing more than double digit growth.
  • 92% of responses in North America believe that business conditions will be stronger in 12 months than they currently are now. This higher than European respondents (85%). Both had improved significantly from the prior year, with scores of 82% for North America, and 61% in Europe (2020).

 

This will be ‘music to the ears’ of business owners across the UK, many of whom we support with Motor or some form of commercial Insurance.

 

As a company we laid extensive plans to support our clients through the pandemic by pioneering responses including increasing usages to allow fast food delivery for our Taxi drivers and quickly de-risking some of the larger fleets in line with client demand.

 

As the economy rebounds, we have formulated new plans centred around flexibility and an increased offering to support our clients through (hopefully!) more prosperous times.

 

Flexibility:

  • Bonus Booster: An ideal solution for those looking to start a new business or change career. This ‘short term’ policy works by allowing clients to accrue 1 year worth of ‘no claims’ discount after 6 months (providing no claims of course!). At that point, the discount can be applied to another one of our annual policies. Our bonus booster policy is available on Motor Trade, Commercial Vehicle and Family Fleet policies. *T&Cs apply.
  • Family Fleet: Why not consider our Family Fleet policy that looks to combine all the families vehicles (both commercial and personal) under one succinct policy with one common renewal date? Each driver earns NCB in their own name, meaning it is ideal for larger families with numerous cars and drivers.

 

Increased Offering:

  • Telematics: Clegg Gifford have also partnered with telematics providers to give our clients a viable alternative to traditional insurance products. Telematics or ‘black boxes’ are a non-invasive tool that help insurers to control claims costs which is subsequently passed back to the client in the form of cheaper insurance premiums.
  • Additional products: Feedback from clients thus far this year has signalled a different outlook than we had seen previously. Clients are actively seeking alternative products and coverage that look to transfer additional commercial risk away from their own enterprise. We have subsequently developed additional relationships within the London Market to cater for increasing demand for Professional Liabilities (Professional Indemnity and Directors & Officers) and Cyber cover.

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