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Lawsuits, identity theft and other invisible risks concern CEOs

A new survey of 200 Chief Executives has found that “invisible risks” such as third-party lawsuits and identity theft are keeping them up at night.

The survey, conducted by Chief Executive Group, found that 37 percent of respondents said that being sued by a third party was a “high” or “very high” area of concern, while 57 percent said the same about identity theft.

Chief Executive Group said the purpose of the survey was to determine senior executives’ awareness of business and personal “invisible risks” and measure their risk preparedness. While most CEOs surveyed were aware of risks to “hard” assets – homes, cars, boats, jewelry, etc. – many were not aware of the extent of the personal liabilities they face as highly visible and frequently targeted individuals. Most had inadequate insurance protection against associated risks.

“Most CEOs have worked extremely hard for many years, putting enormous effort and energy into building the value of their businesses and accumulating a material level of wealth. Many, however, haven’t put nearly enough focus into protecting their wealth,” said Wayne Cooper, who oversaw the research. “Comprehensive insurance protection and an adequate and appropriate personal risk management solution are critical to all individuals, but especially those who are successful and have deep pockets.”

Other findings show that while significant majorities of CEOs were confident in the levels of insurance coverage obtained for automobiles (95 percent) and homes (97.5 percent), only 52.2 percent were confident that their companies provided them adequate Directors & Officers (D&O) Insurance liability coverage to protect them. A whopping 41 percent said they weren’t sure if the boards on which they serve even have adequate insurance coverage for them.

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