There are many threats and considerations that large manufacturing firms must consider when doing business. Claims can be made against the manufacturer for many reasons. Your insurance covers some of these claims, but it can be costly to defend and settle lawsuits that may arise.
TOP 5 THREATS TO THE LARGE MANUFACTURING INDUSTRY
1. GLOBAL SUPPLY CHAIN ISSUES
Supply chain issues are common in every industry. Global events like the COVID-19 pandemic and local crises like the recent Suez Canal blockage by the Ever Given have heightened awareness of supply chain weaknesses worldwide. Manufacturers must be aware of the links in their supply chain and ensure it is transparent and safe for people – public awareness of poor working conditions and slavery in the supply chain is at an all-time high, and all manufacturers need to know their supply chains.
2. CYBER THREATS
Many firms are vulnerable to cyber threats, and the risks are only increasing as more businesses fall victim to phishing and ransomware schemes. It is critical to have cyber insurance to manage issues.
Here are some specific areas manufacturers should focus on regarding cyber protection:
- Extortion: Ransomware is the most prevalent attack today because it is used against every industry. A simple wrong click by an employee could compromise your entire organization’s security.
- Forensic and Notification Costs: The cost to hire a forensic investigator could range from $250-$500 per hour, just to determine the full scope of an attack, and if any data has been exposed, a law firm will need to get involved in order to notify affected individuals and regulatory bodies per state law.
- System Damage: Almost every industry is heavily reliant on technology these days and manufacturing is no different. Damage to systems could cause defective products, prevent orders from being filled, or cause a stop in production entirely. Reparations can be significant and lengthy.
- Business Interruption: Companies can experience a significant financial loss from the minute their systems are shutdown. Unexpected costs like sourcing alternative replacement products or paying staff overtime can be incurred, nevermind the threat of inventory spoils for non-durable goods.
- Social Engineering: Even the most responsible employees are at risk for social engineering with well-trained hackers posing as CEOs, vendors or clients by mimicking internal communications and finding ways to siphon money from those who are unsuspecting.
3. PRODUCT LIABILITY
There are three types of product liability to consider:
- Failure to warn: This happens when the manufacturing firm is aware of potential danger from their product but fails to provide adequate warning to consumers or the public of the known dangers.
- Negligence in manufacturing: You could be accused of negligence in manufacturing if you distribute defective products and failed to demonstrate reasonable care in eliminating defects introduced in the manufacturing process. With manufacturing negligence, the product design is solid, but a defect in the process caused the issue.
- Negligence in design: Negligence in design is when the design of your product is faulty, resulting in an inherently dangerous product.
Product liability insurance can help in all of these cases!
4. CORPORATE TAX RATES
Manufacturers could lose out if the US corporate tax rate changes to repeal benefits that help US manufacturers. If corporate tax rates increased, for example, or if the 20% pass-through deduction were eliminated, large manufacturers would suffer the financial consequences.
5. EMPLOYEE SAFETY
After a year or more of COVID-19 related lockdowns and closures, businesses are starting to recover, and workers are returning to the workplace. But how are manufacturers guaranteeing employee safety? Are they doing enough to keep workers safe? If there is another pandemic outbreak, will workers be exposed? Insurers are re-wording general liability and Workers’ Compensation policies to address these issues. Employment Practices Liability Insurance (EPLI) could also be at risk from employee lawsuits for wrongful termination.
There are many threats US manufacturing firms must face. Having a solid risk management plan in place is a good start when managing these threats. Your agent can help guide you and place the insurance portion of your risk management plan.
STILL HAVE QUESTIONS?
Greg Deems, CRIS
Executive Vice President | Partner
Greg is a Partner and Executive Vice President of RogersGray with a focus on Construction Insurance for both general programs and builders risk. He holds a CRIS designation and is an active member of the ABC, Mass Building Congress, CFMA, and UCANE.
Greg is involved with Friendship Home, Fenway Alliance, and the Plymouth Area Coalition for the Homeless. Deems has also been recognized with several regional and professional recognitions, including the South Shore Stars 40 Under 40 (2014), Cape and Plymouth Business 40 Under 40 (2014), Insurance Business America Young Guns (2017) and Elite Producer for Energi (2014, 2015, 2016,2017). You can connect with Greg on LinkedIn or by email.