Aviva Risk Insights Report: Economic uncertainty is No. 1 risk perceived by Canadian businesses

Canadian businesses worried about economic storm clouds

May 3, 2023 (TORONTO, ON) – Aviva Canada has released its second annual Risk Insights Report, which examines the perceived stressors impacting Canadian businesses, providing a window into the current risk landscape.

Aviva’s research, based on a survey conducted with 1,500 Canadian business leaders, found the majority of businesses (70%) recognize the importance of robust risk management planning and intend to increase their risk management activities; yet many aren’t equipped to handle the next wave of disruption with less than 1-in-3 carrying out the necessary critical assessments needed to safeguard operations.

While a majority of Canadian businesses target growth and customer retention to recapture revenues lost during the pandemic, they are also aware of gathering storm clouds caused by cost-of-living crises, rising energy prices, supply chain disruptions, and trade wars, stoking recessionary fears.

Key findings in the Aviva Canada 2023 Risk Insights Report include:

  • One-in-three businesses stated they’re very concerned and over half (56%) say they’re somewhat concerned about the economic outlook – the No. 1 current perceived risk.
  • The No. 2 rated risk is business interruption, including cyber security and environmental risks such as extreme weather and natural catastrophes. Despite this,  8 per cent of companies don’t have Business Continuity Plans (BCPs), up from 5 per cent in 2021, and only 29 per cent are contacting their insurance company or broker for help.
  • Public health remains at No. 3, with 52 per cent of companies allocating more resources to their people’s health and wellbeing, including developing hybrid work environments.
  • Skills shortages (23% of Canadian businesses say they’re understaffed and need to hire) at No. 4 and the risk of cyber attacks at No. 5 (29% feel exposed) round out the top 5 business risks.

Noteworthy is that two-in-three Canadian businesses (66%) say climate change and ESG has increased in importance, up from 58 per cent in 2022. The cost of insured damage for severe weather events hit $3.1 billion in Canada last year – the third-highest total of natural catastrophe losses in the nation’s history.1

“Business leaders are feeling strained and challenged to confidently navigate a way forward. Risk should not define us but inform the steps we take. Embedding ESG into their strategy and having a fully thought-out business continuity plan will be vital for businesses that plan to grow,” said Jason Storah, Chief Executive Officer, Aviva Canada. “Insurers and brokers can help guide businesses to identify new and emerging risks in an ever-evolving economic climate where increasingly uncertainty is becoming the norm.”


1 Insurance Bureau of Canada


Media Contact:

Parveen Singh
Email: parveen.singh@aviva.com
Tel: 437-221-3492


About Aviva Canada

Aviva Canada is one of the leading property and casualty insurance groups in the country, providing home, automobile, lifestyle, and business insurance to 2.4 million customers. A subsidiary of UK-based Aviva plc, Aviva Canada has more than 4,000 employees focused on creating a bright and sustainable future for our people, our customers, our communities and our planet. In 2021, we announced our ambition to become a net zero carbon emissions company by 2040, the most demanding target of any major insurance company in the world.

For more information, visit aviva.ca or Aviva Canada’s blogTwitterFacebook and LinkedIn pages.