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A rise in strikes, riots and civil commotion set to test businesses

30 March 2023

According to a recent report by Allianz Global Corporate & Speciality, strikes, riots and civil commotions are set to rise, testing business resilience.

With the United Kingdom currently undergoing a fresh wave of industrial action, there is growing discontent rooted in social inequality and the rising cost of living. As a result, experts have assessed there is a heightened risk of damage to buildings and assets and and resulting disruptions potentially resulting in a significant loss of income.

This news comes after civil unrest rose in over 50% of countries between Q2 and Q3 in 2022, with reported damage from just six civil unrests around the world between 2018 and 2023 resulting in at least US$12bn combined in insured losses.

Srdjan Todorovic, Head of Political Violence and Hostile Environment Solutions at AGCS says:

Incidents of strikes, riots and civil commotion have not only increased in recent years, they are also becoming more intense and catastrophic. These types of events are making our era one of uncertainty”.

Considerations for underwriters and insurers

With the potential significant impact on business events and property, it is critical that insurers reconsider their risk modelling and appetite in relation to such risks, including consideration as to how these risks may evolve over time. Insurers may also want to look more closely at the measures being taken by their policyholders to ensure business are protecting themselves and reducing the potential impact of rioting and civil commotion.

Given the potentially systemic nature of riot and civil commotion risks, it is especially important for insurers to regularly review the position.

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Tim Johnson


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