Research: Businesses Spending More on Disaster Preparedness

Businesses are spending more on disaster preparedness and catastrophe management.

That's the word from a survey performed by the Chubb Group of Insurance Companies and announced Tuesday at the Risk & Insurance Management Society's annual conference.

The study also found that corporate spending on loss control remained flat overall or saw a slight increase for most organizations, with 52 percent of respondents noting that their loss control spending had stayed level over the previous year. Another 43 percent said they had increased spending, and only 5 percent saw a decrease in spending. The survey put the overall increase at 7 percent.

According to Chubb, those numbers hold true to a previous survey, conducted in 2003, which saw highly similar numbers.

The Chubb study saw the greatest increases in spending on disaster preparedness planning, catastrophe management, security, corporate governance and business continuity services. Areas of spending on loss control which remained flat were employment practices liability, product liability and workers compensation.

Interestingly, the percentage of respondents citing terrorism as a reason for increasing spending dropped from 24 percent in the 2003 study to 5 percent in this year's study. Some 15 percent cited natural disasters as a reason for increasing their spending.

In the announcement that released the Chubb Group survey data, Steven Hernandes, senior vice president of Chubb & Son and worldwide loss control services manager for Chubb Commercial Insurance, noted that it was significant that loss control budgets had not been cut despite other areas of cuts in budgets.

"It is noteworthy that after years of overall budget cutting, most organizations continue to increase or maintain funding for loss control services," said Hernandez.