11 June 2016 Business assets, such as key personnel and brand value, along with damage from cyber attacks, are difficult to quantify - and are strikingly underinsured by risk managers.
As the French romantic saying puts it, far from the eyes is far from the heart. Intangibles are all the things in a business which can't be seen and, when it comes to risk management, that means they are often overlooked.
David Philip, partner at Kennedys law firm, points out: "It is possible to insure a brand against detriment, although placing a value on intangibles is extremely difficult as they are so subjective." Garry Sidaway, of risk management consultancy NTT Com Security, agrees, adding there are numerous complicating factors: "You can protect yourself to some degree from individual social comments and remarks, but insurance is based on actuarial data and loss, and brand value is a very difficult thing to measure effectively. The impact on market value is one measure, but again what am I insuring, how do I determine the necessary cover, and what controls must I put in place to protect my own interests?"