Businesses may be left under-prepared and under-insured as the lines are blurred for what constitutes a riot, protest, political violence or war 

There has been an uptick in demand for full political violence insurance following the Covid-19 pandemic, Insurance Times has heard.

The geo-political landscape is shifting, according to Edward Atkin, senior class underwriter at Talbot Underwriting speaking at the International Forum of Terrorism Risk (Re)insurance Pools (IFTRIP) Livestream 2020 last week.

He said: “In many ways, frustration has been exasperated by the new [Covid-19] environment and lockdown restrictions. This gives way to spontaneous protests leaving corporates under-prepared and under-insured for the disruption to the day-to-day running of their business.”


He continued: “Following the recent global pandemic and economic downturn, many of these political violence trends will be intensified, lockdown restrictions have already resulted in social unrest in some countries.

“Plus, pre-existing tensions will be fuelled by the growing scrutiny of how the governments has handled Covid-19.”

For businesses, this can lead to loss of property, loss of access, loss of attraction, impact on people, impact on brand and reputation, and impact on the supply chain.


Atkin listed the following key drivers:

  •  A political shift away from globalisation and a renewed focus on national and regional concerns ie: Brexit
  •  Economic confrontation between major powers and domestic and political polarisation
  •  On a national level increased control and repression leading to descent and opposition in some countries.

“These exposures are not fully covered by the risk market, there are often gaps in coverage when a loss occurs and as a result there has been a recent move towards affirmative coverage,” he said.

The London Bridge attack, Atkin said was a non-damage business interruption event where access to businesses were restricted for five and a half days.

He pointed out that the lines are blurred between defining acts of protest, political violence and war which makes coverage tricky. It is this he said that could leave businesses under-insured.

Read more…Opportunity to boost terror insurance pentration seen amid lockdown 

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