Survey: Medical Costs, Cybersecurity Top Business Leaders' Concerns

Manufacturers selected medical costs and cybersecurity at a rate of 60 percent.

Business leaders once again expressed concerns about rising medical costs at a higher rate than other potential risks, according to the 2015 Business Risk Index from Travelers insurance.

Sixty percent of 1,210 business risk managers included in the survey said they worried about medical cost inflation. Twenty-seven percent of respondents indicated they worried about the issue "a great deal," also the highest rate in the poll.

Rising employee benefit costs also prompted concerns from 56 percent of survey participants. Both rates, however, declined compared to the 2014 Travelers survey.

Concerns about cybersecurity risks, on the other hand, increased compared to the previous poll. Fifty-eight percent of business leaders identified cybersecurity or data breaches as worrisome, second only to medical cost increases.

Among other issues, business officials worried about legal liability issues at a rate of 56 percent, followed by attracting and retaining talent at 53 percent and regulatory compliance and economic uncertainty at 51 percent each.

Manufacturers identified both medical costs and cybersecurity at a rate of 60 percent, followed by benefit costs (56 percent), talent retention (55 percent) and economic conditions (54 percent).

In addition, Travelers said less than one-third of those polled believe more frequent severe weather poses a danger to their businesses, while few respondents considered risk management as a priority.

β€œThe top three concerns are indicative of the ever-evolving risks that pose threats to American businesses,” said Michael Klein, co-president of business insurance at Travelers. "Yet, when it comes to managing risk, businesses are often least prepared for their most worrisome concerns."

Travelers commissioned the online survey, which was conducted by Hart Research between February 18 and March 4. The margin of error was plus or minus 3 percentage points.