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French SMES see need for better business continuity planning to ensure their survival

A survey* published today by MS Amlin, the specialist global (re)insurer, shows that French companies are conscious of a diversification and intensification in the potential risks to their companies. 79% of companies would like external advice and support to successfully implement a business continuity plan and operating loss cover1.

According to the survey, professionals identified the most prevalent risks:

- Cyberattacks - 28% of respondents interviewed (the survey was conducted at the time of the cybertattacks during the summer of 2017)

- Risk of fire or explosion (16%)

- IT failures (8%)

- Departure of key employees (7%) and supply chain issues (6%)

Close to one in four executives had experienced the consequences of disruption to their activity during the past three years, and 10% of those surveyed had seen more than one period of disruption. Companies generating annual revenues of over 150 million euros were more likely to experience frequent disruption (19% of respondents compared with 10% for the full sample).

The survey confirmed that companies were generally under covered or incorrectly covered against the risk of operating losses: two thirds of the companies had put in place cover for operating losses and 74% indicated they had not received compensation following disruption to their activity.

Significantly, 47% of respondents had not implemented a business continuity plan. For SMEs generating revenue of less than 20 million euros the percentage rose to 72%. Among the main reasons given for not having a business continuity plan in place were a lack of internal human resources (quoted by 38% of respondents) and a lack of information which was noted by 32% of those surveyed.

Business interruption insurance was most often underwritten by brokers (38%) and insurance companies (32%) which in 62% of instances did not specify that a business continuity plan was essential. And only half of the brokers and insurance companies advised their clients to implement a plan.

 “The survey findings demonstrate clearly that there is a real need to provide support to SMEs in France on the critical issue of business continuity planning and the subscription of business interruption cover”  said Alexandre Martinache, Country Manager for MS Amlin’s French business. “I note that 23% of respondents identified insurers as being able to help them in this area. MS Amlin will pursue the work initiated in close collaboration with brokers to increase awareness among executives and help them to better understand the risks they face, while offering them tailored solutions designed for their company. “

MS Amlin will be present at the 2017 edition of the annual Journées du Courtage event taking place on 12-13 September in Paris (Booth PA72).

*MS Amlin commissioned the survey of 207 decision makers from the insurance field in collaboration with Argus de l’Assurance. The survey was conducted between 8 June and 6 August 2017 with a sample of top management, finance directors, risk managers, acquisitions, health and safety executives and IT directors from diverse economic sectors.