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Survey: Medical cost inflation, financial issues greatest risk concerns for retail industry


Hartford, Conn. -- Cyber risks, medical cost inflation, and legal liability are among the top concerns for American businesses of all sizes, according to results from the second annual Travelers Business Risk Index. The survey polled more than 1,200 business decision makers across the country to better understand what they believe poses the biggest threat to their businesses.

Looking at findings specific to decision makers in the retail industry, the survey found that retailers are worried the most about medical cost inflation (56%) and financial issues (56%), with concerns about medical cost up 37% from last year.

In other retail findings, more than half have data security review plans and practices (55%), but only 34% have a data breach response plan. Among specific risks is the fear of lawsuits for professional mistakes (55%), computer virus infection (55%) and theft or loss of control of client or customer records (34%).

The survey did suggest more optimism among business leaders than last year, as fewer respondents reported worrying about the economy and fewer believe the world is becoming riskier.

The following summarizes the overall results of the 2015 Travelers Business Risk Index:

Medical cost inflation: More respondents (60%) are worried about medical cost inflation than any of the other risks in the 2015 Travelers Business Risk Index. While many business decision makers are concerned with this issue, it was less of a concern compared with last year (60% in 2015 versus 67% in 2014).

Additionally, 33% of respondents said that medical cost inflation is among the risks they are least prepared to manage.

Cyber risks: Cyber risks ranked as the second biggest concern for all businesses, up from fifth last year. Businesses are most concerned about malicious and criminal attacks (55%), followed by human error (24%) and system glitches (21%).

Among the types of malicious attacks most worrisome to businesses:

• 57% of respondents worry most about having their computers or data systems infected with a virus;

• 51% worry someone could gain access to their banking accounts or financial control systems; and

• 50% worry about a security breach or someone hacking into their computer systems.

Legal liability: Legal liability-related risks continue to be another significant source of concern for business decision makers, with 56% of respondents reporting that they worry about it.

• Professional mistakes, errors, and omissions are among the biggest concerns, worrying 42% of respondents.

• Employee lawsuits for discrimination, harassment, and wrongful termination concern 4% of respondents.

• 33% of respondents worry about both customer slips and falls and driving accidents caused by employees.

For full results, including industry-specific information, visit

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