What Worries Consumers and Businesses the Most in 2016?

Risk specialist talking with small business ownerRisk specialist talking with small business owner

Business leaders and consumers share many common concerns, according to data compiled from the 2016 Travelers Risk Index. The annual survey found that cyber risk is still considered one of the greatest risks facing both Americans and American businesses. And while businesses worry more about the implications of getting hacked, consumers are primarily concerned about personal privacy loss, identity fraud and cyber threats.

Top Business Concerns

Medical cost inflation, increasing employee benefit costs and cyber-related technology risks/data breaches again topped the Travelers Risk Index for business concerns in 2016, although the overall proportion who felt the business environment is becoming more risky declined slightly from 2015 to 2016, from 44 percent to 41 percent.

Businesses also cited a changing workforce and technological change as leading business disruptors, the key trends that have the potential to change the way that business is conducted for many industries. They report that talent management is a key business concern, with the ability to attract and retain the right kind of talent being one of the leading perceived business risks, particularly among mid-sized and large businesses.

While managing talent is a concern, only 40 percent of businesses surveyed reported that they transfer knowledge from retiring staff and only 60 percent reported that they provide employee safety training. These business practices can help promote a safe and well-trained workforce.

While cyber remains a key concern, close to two-thirds of businesses surveyed reportedly have not taken basic prevention measures, such as providing employee data protection education and practices or creating a cyber/data breach incident response plan. Other concerns vary by industry.

Top Consumer Concerns

Among consumers, financial concerns, personal safety concerns and personal privacy loss/identity theft (ID Theft) were among their top worries. A majority (56 percent) of consumers continue to view their world as riskier, while one in eight feels it is becoming less risky.

Change also played a role in the risks consumers found pressing in 2016, as they reported being worried about having the right skills brought on by emerging technological changes. Emerging risks that cause the greatest concern are global and political conflict, terrorism, and social unrest; cyber threats from the increased use of Internet-connected devices; and American jobs moving overseas.

Consumers’ top-ranked concern about cyber risk relates to fear of one’s bank or financial accounts being hacked. To address those concerns, the most common measures consumers report taking include choosing strong passwords, limiting the amount of personal information shared online, and keeping one’s web browser and network updated and secure.

Learn More from the 2016 Travelers Risk Index

2016 Business Risk Industry Charts
2016 Consumer Risk Key Findings and Charts
2016 Travelers Risk Infographic
Download the Full 2016 Report

Learn More from the 2015 Travelers Business Risk Index

Key Findings & Charts from the 2015 Business Risk Index >
Industry Charts from 2015 Business Risk Index >
Download the Full 2015 Report >

Learn More from the 2015 Travelers Consumer Risk Index

Key Findings & Charts from the 2015 Consumer Risk Index >
Download the full report to find out >

Learn More from the 2014 Travelers Business Risk Index

The Top 7 Perceived Risks that Worry U.S. Businesses in 2014 >
2014 Business Risk Index - Risk Factors >
2014 Business Risk Index - Risk Planning >
2014 Business Risk Index - Risk Prevention >
2014 Business Risk Index - Manufacturing >
2014 Business Risk Index - Technology >
2014 Business Risk Index - Work Safety >
Download the Full 2014 Report >

Learn More from the 2014 Travelers Consumer Risk Index

Most Americans Believe the World is Growing Riskier >
Extreme Weather a Growing Concern After Last Winter's Storms and Ice >
Distracted Driving a Concern, but Americans Worry More About the Behavior of Others >
Millennials Markedly Less Concerned About Technology Risks >
Download the 2014 Travelers Consumer Risk Index report >

Learn More from the 2013 Travelers Consumer Risk Index

2013 Consumer Risk Index Summary >
Top 5 Concerns >
Severe Weather Becoming more Frequent? >
Personal Privacy Issues Rise in a Digital World >
Emerging Risks – Distracted Driving and Pedestrians >
Download the 2013 Travelers Consumer Risk Index Report >

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