What impact can fake news have on my organisation’s reputation?

Fake news can have a devastating impact on your business and presents a risk to your profits and reputation if not handled correctly. It is essential that you plan your response in advance to reduce the risk of further reputational damage. Below, Client Services Director Jack Wolstencroft discusses fake news and the implications for your business in the current climate.

Fake news… A phrase that has become part of our everyday vocabulary, but does it have more consequence than you may realise?

Misinformation, spin, lies and deceit have of course been around forever. The difference now is the growing influence of social media and alternative information channels. These channels can exponentially escalate the impact of a ‘story’, and when a story has traction, disproving any of its content can take significant effort.

Just Google ‘Fake News’ and you will get over 1 Billion results, demonstrating the scale of the challenge. The impact of this can currently be seen in sharp focus for vaccines and 5G and whenever there is an election in a country.

So, what has this got to do with risk and insurance?

The insurance industry is not immune to the influence of social media, alongside more mainstream media channels. Underwriting a risk is still a process that inevitably involves a human underwriter for most commercial insurance policies.

This is where both conscious and unconscious bias can kick in…

Our unconscious mind is amazing. It can process significantly more information than our conscious mind using shortcuts based on our background, cultural environment and personal experiences to make almost instantaneous decisions.

The challenge is that it can be wrong quite a lot of the time, especially with the multitude of media and information on hand, which inevitably has the potential to impact jobs that rely on rational thinking, like underwriting. Therefore, when an insurer is shown a risk, they will consider both the information as presented, as well as making unconscious decisions that they may not even realise they’re making.

How can my organisation navigate bias?

Over the last year or so the insurance market has changed, with underwriting capacity reducing and more information being needed to secure a quote. This increased level of scrutiny means that each insurance policy takes more time to process, which in turn means that getting an insurers’ attention is key. I have yet to meet an insurer that wants to be associated with an organisation that is appearing in the media for the wrong reasons!

Equally, this reaction isn’t restricted to your organisation, it could be your industry, your geography or even your supply chain.

Engaging with a trusted insurance broker can help you navigate this bias. At Griffiths & Armour we work closely with our clients to better understand their organisations, this in turn helps us to engage with insurers on a more personal level.  Please get in touch if you’d like to learn more about our approach and how we work with our clients and support their risk management processes.

We are always interested to hear your views so if you have any questions or comments on this article, please get in touch with your dedicated insurance broker at Griffiths & Armour or alternatively, contact Jack Wolstencroft by clicking the contact button below.

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