Product defects, and resulting product recalls, can be a significant test for businesses in many industry segments — food & beverage, automotive, medical device, pharmaceutical, restaurants, consumer goods and so on — up and down the supply chain. These challenges are constantly evolving in part due to the fluctuation of product recall risk levels. An incident requiring the recall of affected product can be a very costly and logistically complex process, which can significantly impact commercial relationships, and can result in costly brand damage and loss of market share. As regulatory oversight expands and global supply chains become increasingly complex, manufacturers, their supply chain and those who become legally liable for the product downstream must be able to recognize their potential exposure to a product recall, be proactive vs. reactive, be able to mitigate its risks quickly and efficiently, and be in a position to maximize its cost recovery options.
In 2022, there were
food recalls in the US alone.1
Undeclared allergens accounted for
of food recalls in 2022.1
units of food recalled in 2022.2
of a food and agribusiness loss from a food-borne illness event applies to losses not included in the scope of a standard general liability policy.3,4
Recalled in 20225
medical device units
consumer goods units
The Gallagher Product Recall team offers dedicated specialists who spend 100% of their time advising clients on these risks. The team offers a comprehensive examination of each client's exposure and helps to "best position" clients from loss mitigation and cost recovery standpoints. Our product recall experts help each client evaluate its unique exposures and negotiate custom tailored Product Recall, Product Contamination and Restaurant Contamination insurance coverage to address the risk. These same dedicated experts provide comprehensive service, including claims advocacy and forensic accounting, contractual feedback as related to recall liability (and more), regulatory consulting, coverage advisory and risk management solutions to help our clients from production to distribution within its industry sector.
Product recall insurance coverage
With hands-on industry experience, our Product Recall team seeks to understand your unique risk needs and tailors a risk management program that proactively and comprehensively maps out a financial recovery strategy beyond transactional insurance placement, including a response plan for a contamination event. Our Product Recall team works with our clients in assessing product contamination and recall risk exposure, navigating product defect incidents, governmental enforcement actions and reporting to corporate boards. We help to mitigate losses by working with you to create a business continuity plan and training for your team.
We work directly with leading carriers around the globe to design a program to properly respond to your risks and to prepare you and your business should you experience a product recall event. Some common cost recovery obstacles include:
- Limited recall claims experience and resources
- Failure to financially plan for or insure an event
- Misunderstanding/misapplying contractual language
- Gaps in or confusion about breadth of other insurance coverage
- Poor communication across departments
- Underestimation of impact on brand or reputation
- Impact on supplier and/or customer relationships
Understanding coverage gaps between product liability insurance and product recall insurance
A product recall is the action of removing a batch(es) or hours, days, months or years of production run(s) of products from the marketplace. This could be for an assortment of covered incidents as available by the underwriting community (depending on the product class) ranging from posing risk to bodily injury/property damage to malicious tampering to products simply not working properly. Our product recall insurance coverage, once properly designed based on your risk and preferences, helps to mitigate that risk.
For example, according to the USDA, approximately 80% of food and agriculture losses from a food-borne illness event apply to losses not included in the scope of a product liability policy. Understanding the differences between product recall insurance and product liability insurance will help your organization avoid significant financial losses and minimize business interruption which can harm your balance sheet and enterprise value.
While product liability insurance policies may not completely cover your losses resulting from product contamination, product recall insurance can help minimize risk exposures and protect your product driven business.