FERMA’s COVID-19 survey shows that risk managers have made important contributions to the resilience of their organisations during the ongoing pandemic.

In the immediate response to the crisis, respondents made a clear prioritisation of people — ensuring a quick pivot to teleworking, facilitating health and safety measures for staff. They participated in task forces and crisis units, promoted communication, took a strong role in maintaining business continuity and, where possible, pursued insurance recoveries.

Preventing or limiting interruptions to business processes and activities is an integral part of any Enterprise Risk Management (ERM). Risk management tools such as a business continuity plan (BCP) provide a framework for building organisational resilience against disruptive events, such as this pandemic and the resulting government actions, e.g. lockdowns.

Our report: ”Risk management, recovery and resilience” (click here to read full results)

Before the pandemic

Did your organisation already have a Business Continuity Plan in place before the outbreak of COVID-19?

Before the outbreak of the virus, did your organisation have a risk transfer mechanism in place for pandemics, such as an insurance policy?

During the crisis

To what extent do you agree with the following statement: ‘insurance has provided my organisation with coverage for the business interruption resulting from this pandemic’?

To what extent do you agree with the following statement: ‘there is not an insurance product available that provides my organisation with sufficient financial protection from pandemics or other large catastrophic risks’?

Could you provide an example of good risk management practices in your organisation during this crisis?


Does your organisation plan to make changes to the supply chain as a result of this pandemic?

To what extent do you agree with the following statement: ‘the role of the risk manager in my organisation will increase in importance because of the evolution of the risk landscape’?

To what extent would your organisation be interested in a non-damage business interruption insurance product that provides your organisation with coverage in event of pandemic (or other catastrophic events)?

Given the pan-European nature of the pandemic to what extent do you believe the EU should play an increased role in the management of a future pandemic?

Quotes from respondents

Examples of 3 risks emerging from respondents

Insurance & Risk Manager, Belgium, from the retail sector:

  1. Employee management (work from home transition)
  2. Managing the fear
  3. Managing supply, compliance and conformity of new
    products (masks and gels)

Insurance & Risk Manager, Luxembourg, from the manufacturing sector:

  1. Customers credit risk has strongly increased, although bankruptcies are still to materialise.
  2. Dependencies on critical raw material sourcing.
  3. Cyber-risks furthermore increasing with vulnerabilities to network and more risky behaviours with remote working.

Insurance & Risk Manager, Belgium, from telecommunications, technology, internet & electronics:

  1. Cyber risk
  2. Market/competition risk
  3. Geopolitical/macroeconomic risks

Insurance Manager, Norway, from the manufacturing sector:

  1. Cyber risk (working remotely / home office)

Examples of good risk management provided by respondents