Changes in how business is conducted inevitably lead to developments in risk management and insurance. In recent decades, the driving force behind most of the changes has been technology, particularly the Internet, and insurers and risk managers have had to respond to the changing environment with new products and different approaches.
Retail has been disrupted as much as any traditional business by the introduction of online sales. Many stores and brands have had to adapt to e-commerce or face extinction, at the same time that new players – large and small – are taking an increasingly large part of existing markets and developing new ones.
But as we report in the story leading this annual issue of Business insurance When looking at specialty risks and emerging risks, the product liability landscape for e-commerce is complex. With so many organizations from around the world involved in delivering goods to customers̵7; doors, companies throughout the supply chain can potentially be on the hook for claims, and courts have yet to agree on who is to blame when things go wrong.
Technology is also changing the workplace. Even jobs that still rely heavily on physical effort, such as many in the construction industry, are being overhauled as a result of technological advances, including new tools aimed at improving safety. However, their introduction sometimes hits obstacles as buyers look for evidence that the sometimes significant costs are justified.
But it is not just high technology that is leading to changes in how risks are viewed and managed; politics also play a role. Whether it’s the heightened risks of navigating such a highly charged political environment or contradictory laws that leave questions about how to do business in sectors like cannabis, managing such volatile risks remains a challenge.