What is Risk Management and Risk Assessment?

What is Risk Management and Risk Assessment?

In this article, we’ll look at what risk management and risk assessment is, how P&C insurance professionals address risk management, the benefits of having a proper risk management strategy, how to perform risk assessment in the P&C insurance industry, and the correlation between risk management and assessment.

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Key Summary

Risk management in the property and casualty (P&C) insurance industry refers to the process of identifying, assessing, and controlling risks. These can stem from a wide variety of sources, including accidents, natural disasters, financial costs, legal liabilities, strategic management errors, and more. Risk management relies on critical risk data to help inform decisions, such as understanding a property’s fire risk. Risk assessment, on the other hand, is a component of risk management. It involves determining the likelihood of potential risks, risk factors, and the possible impact identified risks could have. This information helps business leaders decide on the appropriate risk management strategies to create an action plan that protects against possible exposures and mitigates existing or future risks.

Learn More: What is Risk Data?

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What is Risk Management in Property and Casualty (P&C) Insurance?

In the P&C insurance industry, risk management involves identifying and assessing potential risks that policyholders might face and determining how best to mitigate those risks with a professional risk management process. These could be risks related to property damage from perils like fire, theft, or natural disasters, or risks related to liabilities from injuries or damages caused to others.

A risk management process may cover many scenarios. Often, it includes assessment measures such as:

  • Risk identification

  • Risk evaluation

  • Risk mitigation

Risk management helps P&C insurers decide whether to insure a risk, what terms and coverage to offer, how much to charge for accepting the risk, and ensures the insurer maintains sufficient capital to cover potential claims.

The process may also incorporate other reviews of risk, such as specific risk analysis that supports safety management, compliance, or risk security controls.

What Are the Benefits of Proper Risk Management?


Effective risk management ensures the stability of P&C insurers by keeping claims and losses at predictable levels. This stability benefits not only the stakeholders of the insurance company itself but also its policyholders and investors. Stability in a risk management plan ensures risk reduction. This is done through properly planned control measures that reduce vulnerabilities and operational risks.


When insurance companies manage risks well, they can price their insurance products more accurately. A proper risk management process that prioritizes critical risks leads to better profitability, as insurers are often less likely to be caught off guard by unexpected claims.

Customer Confidence

Proper risk management also leads to increased customer confidence and can have a potential impact on their satisfaction with products and services. When customers see that their insurer is stable, reliable, and with few security risks or regulatory compliance issues, they're more likely to maintain their policies and recommend the insurer to others.

How Do You Perform Risk Assessment in the Insurance Industry?

The risk assessment process in P&C insurance is a component of risk management strategy. Types of risk assessment generally align with the same principles of risk management: identification, evaluation, and control. 

In risk assessment, these components of a risk management process are categorized, explored, and defined to support a mitigation strategy.

Identify Individual Risks 

This can include analyzing factors such as the property's location, its construction type, the policyholder’s claims history, and external data like crime and weather statistics in the policyholder’s area.

Analyze and Evaluate Risks

An additional component of risk assessment is the determination of the likelihood that identified risks will lead to a claim,  the potential cost of that claim, and any other consideration that identification data shows. This process often involves the use of statistical models and actuarial science to analyze past data and forecast future claims.

Mitigate Risks

Finally, once risks are identified, analyzed, and evaluated, P&C insurers decide how to manage them. This could involve deciding not to insure certain risks, charging a higher premium for higher-risk policyholders, or requiring policyholders to take certain precautions to reduce risk.

What is the Correlation Between Risk Management and Risk Assessment?

In the P&C insurance industry, both risk management and risk assessment play a crucial role in ensuring the sustainability and profitability of insurance companies. They're also important for maintaining the confidence of policyholders and other stakeholders. When both are used together, insurers, policyholders, and the broader economy benefit.