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The closer link between risk management and insurance

The closer link between risk management and insurance | Insurance Business UK

The closer link between risk management and insurance

The Association of Insurance and Risk Managers in Industry and Commerce (Airmic) aims to drive transformation in risk management and insurance. The organisation’s chief executive, Julia Graham, told Insurance Business UK that Airmic achieves this purpose by leading the development of risk management and insurance “as integrated and dynamic professions” in the UK and worldwide. Airmic’s membership consists of approximately 1,500 individuals and 400 organisations, mostly large corporations as well as universities and not-for-profit institutions.

Graham says the benefits of joining Airmic includes networking opportunities, which have been amplified as more people aim for accessibility in a virtual work environment. Another advantage of membership is being able to participate in continuous professional development through workshops, roundtable discussions, and special interest group meetings. One major event it organises is an annual conference, which takes place this year on October 05 and 06 in Brighton. The organisation also provides a series of explanatory guides on how certain aspects of risk and insurance work. All of these are available to members at no additional cost, and are particularly helpful for young professionals and those going through a career shift.

Risk management, says Graham, has become essential during the pandemic, and understanding risk is the starting point for those who work on insurance programmes. Such programmes “have to be based on the risks as you see them so that you can identify which risks you think are transferable, which risks are not transferable, and how [you’ll manage] the whole profile of the risks that exist within your organisation. We are seeing increasingly risk and insurance professionals working together now … partly because it’s really key in the insurance industry for an organisation to present its approach to managing risk in the best way that it can”, she says. She notes that some small organisations may be unable to support separate roles for managing risk and managing insurance, while larger organisations may have teams that perform such functions.

“The two functions and sets of responsibilities are closely linked,” she said. “People can’t work in silos anymore, and therefore it makes good business sense for organisations to bring those responsibilities together. You’ve got a greater opportunity to support the organisation that you’re part of.” She adds that the main concerns related to risk management right now are supply chain operations, a safe return to offices, and employees’ health and wellbeing. Companies should also focus on cybersecurity, especially because hybrid work arrangements increase their vulnerability to data breaches and phishing attacks. She believes that organisations must keep an eye on the risk horizon and the issues that may arise if another pandemic occurs in the future.

“I think learning lessons – that’s the first thing that I would recommend to anybody who is considering what the future might hold as we come back into maybe different ways of working… I think we’re just facing what normality will now look like. But what you’ve got to do is to assess your business in the context that you’re now working in,” she said.

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