Political Risks and Violence a Rising Business Concern in 2024

Political violence emerges as a top concern for businesses, driven by global unrest and economic uncertainty, according to the Allianz Risk Barometer.
By: | April 11, 2024
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The rise of political risks and violence has become a significant concern for businesses worldwide, according to the Allianz Commercial.

Political violence can impact businesses in various ways, from endangering the safety of employees and customers to causing business interruption losses and material damage to property or assets. Risk management and insurance can help protect people and property, as well as business continuity in case of unrest, the report states.

Political risk and violence ranked as the eighth-largest worry for companies globally in 2024, up from 10th in 2023 and 13th in 2022, according to the Allianz Risk Barometer.  The last time it ranked so high was 2017, amid the uncertainty of the Brexit vote in the U.K. and the election of Donald Trump as president in the U.S., the report notes.

Trends and challenges in the current landscape reveal that social unrest incidents are on the rise globally, driven by factors such as inflation, inequality, food and fuel prices, climate anxieties, and concerns about democracy.

“Global stability in 2024 continues to be undermined by the forces of international conflict, geopolitical upheaval, economic uncertainty, and the lingering effects of the COVID-19 pandemic,” the Allianz report stated. “Businesses need to remain vigilant about the shapeshifting nature of political violence and mindful of the risk that localized unrest could significantly impact their activities.”

Economic and insured losses from such unrest can be considerable, resulting in significant losses for companies and their insurers. For example, economic and insured losses from just seven civil unrest incidents in recent years cost approximately $13 billion, according to Allianz.

The threat landscape is also evolving, with a shift from large-scale terrorist attacks to major losses from strikes, riots and civil-commotion (SRCC) events in certain regions.

Environmental activism is intensifying, with more targeted tactics and sabotage. Between 2022 and 2023, environmental activism incidents increased by around 120%.

Potential risks and vulnerabilities include the exploitation of disaffection among voters via social media, deepfakes, and disinformation. Businesses seeking to diversify supply chains may also face hidden exposures in alternative markets.

To manage these risks, businesses must remain vigilant about the evolving nature of political violence and civil unrest risks.

“Businesses need to protect their people and property with forward planning, such as ensuring safe and robust business continuity planning is in place in the event of an incident, increasing security and reducing or relocating inventory if they are highly likely to be affected by an event,” said Srdjan Todorovic, Head of Political Violence and Hostile Environment Solutions at Allianz Commercial.

Scenario planning, tracking risks in key areas of operation, and reviewing insurance policies are also crucial steps. Specialist coverage via the political violence market may be necessary to ensure adequate protection, Allianz said.

For more information about the political risks report, visit the Allianz Commercial website. &

The R&I Editorial Team can be reached at [email protected].

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