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Geopolitical Risk Snapshot 2024

Navigating political risk in an era of heightened global tensions

In this ‘year of the election’, where over half the world’s population will have the opportunity to vote, we focus on global business executives’ concerns and perceived preparedness for geopolitical risk and their apprehension around the outcome of these elections impacting their international operations and ability to invest and trade.

From the unrest in the Middle East to the continuing conflict in Ukraine and potential changes of government in Western democracies, the sheer number of variables and how they will interact to shape geopolitics will test business strategies to the limit.

We explore what this unpredictability will mean for businesses as they grapple with increasing political risks. We also look at the essential role of insurance in mitigating these risks and the importance of robust contingency plans.

Key Takeaways

  • For brokers

    1. Lenders are increasingly demanding political risk protection, including trade credit risk, terrorism and war insurance coverage, is in place for international firms looking to support the global energy transition, particularly in politically unstable regions.
    2. Strikes, riots and civil commotion standalone insurance should be on businesses’ consideration list – particularly in the US and other regions of the world with polarised voters.
    3. Forewarned is forearmed when it comes to geopolitical risk – as political risk and political violence insurance will be harder to come by in the face of contentious elections where there is a heightened risk of social upheaval or violence.
  • For businesses

    1. With the geopolitical landscape increasingly fraught, organisations need to invest in scenario planning and robust contingency strategies to navigate this fast-evolving risk landscape. Building geopolitical resilience should not be an afterthought.
    2. In frontier markets that offer exciting investment opportunities, understanding local cultures and systems at both a macro and micro level is key to navigating political risks and developing initiatives that will deliver on the ground. Without buy-in from local community groups, projects could run into trouble.
    3. Understanding how local election results could impact operating models and developing proactive risk management strategies not only enhances business resilience but also creates a competitive advantage.

“Elections bring the uncertainty of a change in government. You might have a situation where a party that has campaigned on resource nationalisation comes to power – which is not good for energy companies invested in that country.”

Roddy Barnett
Head of Political Risk & Trade Credit, Beazley

Read On


  • Emotions Flair

    Unrest and commotion in a bumper election year

    As polarised political groups challenge each other at the polling booths across the world, extreme elements may use violence to influence, intimidate or lash out if the results don’t go their way, heightening the risk of political violence, strikes, riots and civil commotion.

  • Metals in the Crosshairs

    The energy transition tug of war

    As governments implement measures to keep the rise in global temperatures below 1.5°c, the focus on the critical minerals and metals essential to enabling the global renewable energy transition is intensifying.  With the rare earth minerals and metals at the heart of this transition located in politically unstable regions of the world, navigating political risk is critical.

  • Powering Africa

    Navigating the opportunities

    Political instability, military coups, civil unrest, and geopolitical tensions present barriers and heightened risk for investors in Africa’s energy infrastructure, critical to the local population and the ability to mine increasingly important and valuable minerals required for the world’s renewable energy transition.

Top findings from our Risk & Resilience geopolitical research

“Whilst we hope for the best it is vitally important to prepare for the worst.”

Alex Hill
Focus Group Leader - Political and Terrorism Claims, Beazley

Poles apart

Our research data found that 30% of corporate leaders globally viewed political risk (including political violence) as their top geopolitical threat in 2024 – rising from 27% last year, to 32% this year, and concern over this risk is predicted to remain elevated going into 2025.

The potential for discord does not just hinge on elections, other political issues are also acting as a catalyst for unrest. In France, last year, there were disruptive protests and riots over proposed pension reforms. In 2020, the US and UK saw large Black Lives Matter demonstrations following the deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor. Around 10,600 demonstrations were recorded and, while 95% were peaceful, 5% spilled over into violence causing property damage and business interruption¹.

Our research finds that a quarter (25%) of global business leaders feel unprepared to deal with the volatile risk landscape and increased threat of political violence.

“In this ‘year of the election’, businesses around the world are facing significant political uncertainty. Having standalone political violence and strikes, riots and civil commotion cover has never been more important.”

Chris Parker
Head of Terrorism and Deadly Weapons Protection, Beazley

War and terrorism risks rise for global boardrooms

Since our Risk & Resilience research first began in 2021, the perceived threat of war and terrorism risk among global business leaders has increased significantly, rising from 15% in 2021 to 25% now.

Historically, specialist risk insurance coverage has been an afterthought. Acquired at points of clear, precise risk and acute exposure. However, this is changing. Political Risk insurance can mitigate financial risk enabling businesses to pursue investments amidst the maelstrom of global or local political upheavals. It is recognised by sovereign wealth funds, private equity and other lenders as a key element of a finance deal for projects in less stable regions of the world.

Next Steps

With the prospect of political change in over 60 countries, and ongoing war and political tensions increasing the world has rarely felt so volatile. This uncertainty can breed business inaction. Specialty insurance can help break this inertia, providing businesses with the financial security required to manage the downside risk, embark on investments, and pursue innovations that will be critical to the world’s future economy.

Related Articles

¹ Demonstrations and Political Violence in America: New Data for Summer 2020 (

The information set forth in this document is intended as general risk management information. It is made available with the understanding that Beazley does not render legal services or advice. It should not be construed or relied upon as legal advice and is not intended as a substitute for consultation with counsel. Beazley has not examined and/ or had access to any particular circumstances, needs, contracts and/or operations of any party having access to this document. There may be specific issues under applicable law, or related to the particular circumstances of your contracts or operations, for which you may wish the assistance of counsel. Although reasonable care has been taken in preparing the information set forth in this document, Beazley accepts no responsibility for any errors it may contain or for any losses allegedly attributable to this information. BZCP050.