Has protecting valuable assets changed?

09 March 2016

We have recently seen some very real examples of how individuals try to protect their physical assets, none more so than the well published theft that occurred in the Hatton Garden robbery in London last year. This case demonstrates how a traditional robbery can still occur with criminal planning and potentially some inside intelligence. However, this heist also showed how times have changed and how the use of technology and intelligence tracking greatly assisted in apprehending the perpetrators. 

The question that remains is would these criminals have been brought to justice so quickly 20 or 30 years ago and how much did technology assist the police investigation? From the press details released, technology undoubtedly played a large role in assisting the authorities. 

Within the world of valuable assets we continue to see the race between the criminal underworld and the security needed to protect commercial businesses that hold valuable goods. More than ever businesses are becoming increasingly vigilant when it comes to security utilising the most up to date methods of protection that are available. This is not only due to the continual risk from criminals, but also with the increased risk of terrorism that is facing the world today and the subsequent need for continuity plans. 

We are seeing companies all over the world increasing the protection of their businesses from criminal activity, whether the potential crime be physical or by utilising cyber/crime related methods and whether perpetrated by the criminals or terrorists.

A consistent method of protecting these businesses is to layer security throughout the organisation. Of course, territory is also a consideration, along with the amount and type of values being held. 

At JLT Specialty, we see clients adopting several methods to protect their assets. These include traditional methods such as employee screening, business risk procedures, operational segregation, along with physical security such as smart water and CCTV and substantial vaults. These preventative measures all remain key and part of the risk management plan. More recently we have also seen greater use of technology to compliment some of these more traditional methods. Examples of these technologies include biometrics capabilities throughout a business, along with greater remote monitoring capabilities.

With the continual security investment that is needed to protect valuable goods, the question remains have these risks increased or are they being mitigated by the procedural and technological enhancements? This is certainly subjective, it's is also a fact that criminals will try to exploit the weakest of targets, in the attempt to create the simplest financial gain. 

One way to ensure businesses are benefiting from their security enhancements and increased investment is to educate the insurance providers of the risk management procedures and plans being implemented across the business. 

Does your insurer really know of the security investment taking place within your business? How do you ensure that your insurers understand how they are benefiting from the investment that is taking place in your company and is this investment being maximised?

Communication of the risk management strategy and investment planning should not be under estimated. In our experience clearly defined risk management plans not only create cost efficiencies associated to your insurance programme but can also allow for the broadest possible insurance terms and conditions. This allows for the most effective risk transfer programmes, which create certainty in the unfortunate event that your business procedures, operating procedures, physical and technology security are overcome.

Within JLT we firmly believe a cohesive risk management plan being effectively communicated to the insurance marketplace creates the best opportunity to create a risk transfer programme that is not only cost effective, but also creates the certainty of balance sheet protection.

For further information, please contact Barry Vickery, Senior Partner, Fine Art, Jewellery and Specie on +44 (0)20 7528 4598 or Inge Varvel, Senior Partner, Fine Art, Jewellery and Specie on +44 (0)20 7466 6248

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