Manufacturing has seen a significant shift in the last few years as technological advancements continue to bring opportunities for innovation and increased output and productivity. However many of these advancements are still uncharted waters for both the companies utilizing them, and the courts hearing the resulting litigation surrounding them. With each new ruling and new regulation, new risks emerge, requiring a proactive response. Some of the challenges facing manufacturers include:
- 3d printing is creating new challenges in the protection of IP and new exposures such as health risks from prolonged exposure to materiels
- Utilization of cloud based logistics, software solutions and robotics are succeptable to malicious attacks which could bring operations to a stand still
- The usage of social media to build awareness and client engagement has created a greater potential for libel/slander and advertising claims
- Cyber criminals are employing newer, sophisticated attacks such as CEO fraud and warranty fraud which is catching many companies off guard
- IOT, (the internet of things) is embedding technology into products creating potential professional liability exposures
Trends outside of technology are also creating challenges for manufacturers. As the organic/sustainable movement, ethical production and local sourcing continue to dominate purchasing trends, many companies are looking to introduce products that are sustainable or locally sourced. However the industry has been seeing an uptick in deceptive advertising claims as a result, as indicated by the growing number of lawsuits and FTC actions. With many manufacturers today operating more like brands, structuring an insurance program is more than just risk mitigation, it is also a form of brand/reputation management. While product liability, worker’s comp and property insurance serve as core components of a manufacturers’ insurance portfolio, a holistic program should also address the need for products such as manufacturers’ E&O and directors and officers insurance. Careful consideration should also be given to the importance of specialty products such as product recall and IP insurance. We recognize the challenges manufacturers are facing and work closely with our clients to build well structured insurance portfolios.