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Risk cultures vs purchasing responsibilities

 
Patrick Gage, CNA Hardy, “The relationship between risk and insurance buying function within our clients’ business is very interesting, as there is a danger those two are talking in a different way about the same subject. We need to understand better how buying decision are made and what is driving their risk evaluation and their insurance product buying evaluation as well.”

As the conversation around cyber and risk evaluation continued, an interesting point began to surface around the potential for there to be a disconnect between the risk manager evaluating the risk and the buyer of insurance.

“Buying insurance is usually a subset of the finance and risk function, but that can still mean there are some degrees of separation between the person buying risk and the person owning the risk. I think it’s important for the markets to get a strong grasp of that,” commented one of the risk managers at the table.

 
Adrian Clements, ArcelorMittal, “There is a realisation the door that opens up to the clients is maybe a different to the tradition one. It’s not necessarily the head of insurance you would go to, to get more information and feedback to fine tune the products and effectiveness, it’s actually probably from the operational side and risk owner.”

He added: “The person trying to communicate the product portfolio to the internal customer, who is us, the risk owner; what we see very often is two languages being used to describe the same thing – the people who have the risk are talking one way, and the insurance finance person is talking another way.”

An important part of the solution is centred around a company’s risk culture, participants of the roundtable agreed.

“You’ve got to make sure that the local risk manager person is talking to the local risk owner in a way which is creating a rapport and relationship,” said one risk manager, referring to all the different risk hubs within his organisation. “There must be a line here. If that’s not working through the whole organisation, you end up with not the right cover and everybody is frustrated then.”

“There is a danger of commoditising things which shouldn’t be commoditised, and we need to make sure we’re having these consultative discussions with the owners of the risk, as well as our brokers,” said CNA Hardy’s Gage.

Marsh’s King added: “It’s all about discussion – and understanding individual corporate requirements. In the past, perhaps it’s been discussing the insurance process itself, when the focus should be on each element itself, be that risk management or risk mitigation. So yes, that discussion with the clients is key, and partnering with insurers to understand each client’s specific needs. The more agile we can be in the industry, the more relevant we’ll be.”

 
 
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