Digital health, telehealth and wellness: Attitudes to risk and insurance revealed in new research published by Beazley
Global survey reveals extent of underinsurance of key risks in burgeoning digital health and wellness sector; more than a third of firms struggle to find the right insurance for their specialist needs
Insurance companies and brokers need to go further to support the fast-growing digital health and wellness sector with more specialist coverage that meets its specific risk requirements and helps companies to navigate the complex risk landscape.
These are among the findings published today in a new report, Spotlight on digital health and wellness, highlighting attitudes to risk and insurance among digital health and wellness leaders in North America, Asia and Europe.
The report is based on a survey commissioned by Beazley of more than 350 executives from established telehealth and telemedicine companies to those at the forefront of newer sub-sectors including mobile-health, health software platforms and life science technology. It reveals their views on the drivers of and barriers to growth, the risks that impact their businesses, and their insurance-buying habits and coverage gaps.
A key theme to emerge from the report is that, despite broad optimism about the future and an influx of capital into the sector, many businesses are unnecessarily exposed to financial and reputational damage through underinsurance. Of concern is the lack of specialist insurance in place to protect against the particular risks this sector faces. This includes the risk to physical health that can be caused by lost or false data, system failure or cyber breach leading to misdiagnosis, inappropriate or failed treatments.
Highlights from the report include:
- Although 89% perceive the sector to be relatively high risk, optimism is high, with nine in 10 businesses expecting to grow this year
- While 85% are confident they know what insurance coverage they need, 70% are only covered for one or two of these key risks
- Despite the risk of something going wrong with the technology, more than two thirds lack insurance coverage for bodily injury claims arising from system failure or cyber breach
- 36% have struggled to find insurance that is right for their business
- 33% don’t know what types of risk they need to be covered for
- More support from the insurance industry would be welcome – a third want more education on the risks they need covered.
Jennifer Schoenthal, Global Virtual Care Product Leader at Beazley, said: “Digital health and wellness leaders have said they want our industry to improve how we communicate, share knowledge and collaborate, to deliver more appropriate coverage, more effectively. There is a huge opportunity for brokers and insurers to heed these messages. In particular, we need to work together to build holistic insurance solutions that focus more closely on the integrated risks these clients face to help them avoid risky gaps in their coverage.”
Evan Smith, Global Head of Miscellaneous Medical and Life Sciences at Beazley, said: “Since we wrote our first telehealth risk in 2009, the digital health sector has continued to evolve in line with technological advancements and changing attitudes towards remote care among patients as well as health practitioners, governments and investors. However, the sector has grown exponentially from the beginning of the pandemic, fueled by an impressive track record in innovation, a wave of fresh capital, expansion plans and demand.
“In striving to deliver better risk mitigation and risk transfer, we can provide the protection and support digital health and wellness firms need to continue to strengthen their businesses and raise capital, and to develop the solutions that will play a key role in supporting public health and enabling future economic growth.”
Read the report here.