On the 8th February 2024, Gallagher held Horizon, its inaugural one-day virtual conference specifically tailored for Public Sector, Education, Social Housing and Community organisations.

The Chief Executive Officer of Airmic, Julia Graham, opened the event with a powerful keynote speech, which highlighted that in today's interconnected world there's no room for silos in risk management. The pandemic has taught us that artificial boundaries are no longer effective. With the world in a state of "perma-crisis" Julia advised that publicly funded organisations now need to be constantly ready to respond and risk registers are only useful if they are kept up-to-date.

In the morning sessions, attendees had the choice of learning more about Martyn's Law, construction risks, financial wellbeing, mould and disrepair, procurement reform and climate change.

The upcoming Martyn's Law legislation, anticipated to come into effect in the summer/autumn of 2024, aims to enhance public safety and security in crowded places and is therefore a key area of focus for the public sector. Jonathan Rae, Director of UK Terrorism and Crisis Resilience at Gallagher, Laura Hawkes, Head of Intelligence at AnotherDay and Adam Carrier, Head of Consulting at AnotherDay joined forces to share their understanding of how the new legislation will work in practice.

Key points included confirmation that all publicly accessible locations with a capacity of 100 people or more are in scope. For the standard tier (100-799 people), the requirements focus on ensuring procedural thought has gone into preventing and mitigating terrorist attacks, but no implementation of physical, technical or security measures is likely to be required. For enhanced tier locations (800+), a phased implementation is expected and there will be a requirement to either take practicable measures to reduce the potential likelihood of an attack or mitigate its impact; at present, the Government seems to be moving towards the latter.

In the session on construction risks, Theo Knottenbelt, Associate at Gallagher, predicted that sustainable construction will increase, and significant trends include using structural timber and refurbishing existing buildings rather than demolishing them. He added that both require extra consideration about risk. When using structural timber, insurers want to see evidence that this doesn't reduce the structural integrity of the building. Refurbishment tends to fall outside the core appetites of construction, property and liability; therefore, developers will need to take steps to minimise risk and improve the insurability of the project to secure cover.

Dr Marie Ekström, Divisional Director of Climate and ESG at Gallagher Re, highlighted how divergent climate models are and encouraged organisations to question what they were adapting to. With modelling, geography really matters; one model will not work everywhere, and regions may therefore require different reporting.

During the lunchtime interval, we introduced a guest speaker, Gallagher Premiership Rugby Referee Sara Cox MBE, who made several astute connections between rugby resilience and the corporate world. This included decision-making, handling pressure, managing emotions, navigating uncertainty, and taking accountability.

The afternoon sessions focused on the role of social value, the shift to detection and loss prevention in Cyber and alternative sources of risk capital for distressed markets. By focusing on the total cost of risk, these alternative risk transfer solutions aim to provide more comprehensive and cost-effective risk financing strategies. They allow businesses to tailor their risk management approach to their specific needs and reduce their reliance on traditional insurance markets where price volatility is always possible.

In the Cyber session, Ryan Dodd, Founder and CEO of Intangic, shared some thought-provoking stats:

80% of the market is frustrated by cyber cover and ransomware had a 100% growth rate in 2023.

Consequently, Ryan said that in his experience, complex organisations are questioning whether cyber insurance currently provides optimal cover vs. cost. He stated that businesses are more interested in knowing the probability of being attacked by cybercriminals rather than the magnitude of the loss if an attack does happen. Organisations are primarily concerned with identifying their level of vulnerability to such attacks.

If you'd like to learn more about any of the sessions, they are all available to watch on demand. Contact your local representative if you want to discuss any issues raised in more detail.


The sole purpose of this article is to provide guidance on the issues covered. This article is not intended to give legal advice, and, accordingly, it should not be relied upon. It should not be regarded as a comprehensive statement of the law and/or market practice in this area. We make no claims as to the completeness or accuracy of the information contained herein or in the links which were live at the date of publication. You should not act upon (or should refrain from acting upon) information in this publication without first seeking specific legal and/or specialist advice. Arthur J. Gallagher Insurance Brokers Limited accepts no liability for any inaccuracy, omission or mistake in this publication, nor will we be responsible for any loss which may be suffered as a result of any person relying on the information contained herein.