Mumbai: For chief risk officers (CROs) of India Inc, employee health cover has overtaken protection against risk to property for the first time. However, cyber risks are considered the most probable to materialise. Historically, property risks have been the biggest that a CRO in a corporation had to cover. But the growing relevance of the services sector and rising costs of healthcare have meant that companies have more at stake in employee well-being.
According to ICICI Lombard’s annual survey of risk managers, 55% of respondents see employee health as a crucial risk as compared to 53% last year. This is higher than property risks, which are considered to be crucial by 48% of the respondents as against 55% last year.
“There might be a bit of recency bias in the responses as this year there was no national catastrophes,” said ICICI Lombard General Insurance MD & CEO Bhargav Dasgupta. He added that health insurance was becoming a major item for most companies.
“Progressive companies are becoming aware of the need to not just provide health insurance, but ensure that employees remain healthy. We are working with companies to provide something that is like a managed healthcare by taking proactive measures to tackle health risks,” said Dasgupta. He added that companies now know it is not enough to save premium by bargaining on the rates and realise that annual health checks can play a preventive role.
Interestingly, while health is the most crucial risk, corporates see cyber risks as something most likely to materialise. According to Dasgupta, this is because of the awareness of data breaches that have been making headlines. “It is not just technology companies that are worried about cyber risks. Even traditional industries, like those in the power sector, are worried about cyber risks that can disrupt their business,” said Dasgupta. The other new-age risk that companies were worried about was relating to climate change. “While weather risks are covered under traditional property insurance, businesses are realising that weather events can result in disrupting the entire supply chain, triggering losses which cannot be covered,” he said. “Insurers can help companies in not just transferring risks but also managing them. By analysing claims data, we have been able to help companies cut losses in transit and in property insurance,” said Dasgupta.-Times Of India