Businesses around the world should prepare for an increase in civil unrest as a cost-of-living crisis follows on the heels of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty (AGCS).

Strikes, riots, and violent protest movements pose risks to companies because, in addition to damage to buildings or assets, business operations can also be severely disrupted by a lack of access to facilities, resulting in loss of income, AGCS said.

“Civil unrest increasingly represents a more critical exposure for many companies than terrorism,” Srdjan Todorovic, head of crisis management, UK and Nordics, at AGCS, and, as of July 1, head of global political violence and hostile environment solutions at AGCS, said in a statement.

“Incidences of social unrest are unlikely to abate any time soon, given the aftershocks of COVID-19, the cost-of-living crisis, and the ideological shifts that continue to divide societies around the world. Businesses need to be alert to any suspicious indicators and designate clear pathways for de-escalation and response, which anticipate and avert the potential for personnel to be injured and/or damage to business and personal property.”