From the November 2011 issue of Treasury & Risk magazine

Guarding Reputations

Three new insurance products aim to give companies a hand when their brands take a beating.

Aon, AIG and Willis Group all announced new insurance products last month to help companies deal with reputational risk. The products are not directly competitive, as each targets a different market and takes a different approach. But clearly the spate of offerings reflects a growing concern about risks to a company’s reputation. Laurie Fraser, global markets leisure practice leader at Willis, suggests the 2010 BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico made companies more aware of the huge damage that can be caused by a “sensationalist press.”

The spread of the Internet and social media have increased the speed at which reputations can be damaged, says Randy Nornes, executive vice president of Aon Risk Solutions. When a problem occurred “20 years ago, you might get 30 to 45 days to handle managing your brand. Now, it’s four to five days at best, and it could be less time than that,” he says, adding that “these kinds of things can happen to anybody.”

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