No, it’s not short term insurance coverage or long term assurance coverage. It’s a far greater journey down the rabbit hole.

Hungelmann (2016) defines personal risk management (PRM), as the process of identifying, measuring, and treating personal risk (including, but not limited to, insurance), followed by implementing the treatment plan and monitoring changes over time.

Skipper and Kwon (2010), state that operational risks are more amenable to individual behaviour and action. They go on to say that the chance for long life can be improved through proper diet, exercise and personal habits. The same is true for good health and the quality of life in retirement. Good risk management practices for individuals have more application to operational risks than to the other types of individual risks such as financial and strategic risks, which involve macro events, or conditions that are usually beyond the control or influence of individuals.

Hillson (2006) states that a common definition of risk is any uncertainty, which, if it occurs, will have an effect on achievement of one or more objectives. This same generic definition can be applied to personal risk management. According to Hillson (2006), the process for managing risk of an individual is exactly the same as any other application of risk management. After defining objectives, the next step is to identify risks, including both threats, which could hinder an individual as well as opportunities that could help the individual.

The International risk Management Institute, state that one of several categories of loss exposures facing organsations may be treated with the risk management process. This exposure encompasses losses arising from the death, injury, disability, or the sudden departure of employees.

Although guides exist specific to financial planning and insurance placements under the disguise of personal risk management, there is no standard guide to personal risk management that the author has come across, and including personal risk in an organisational setting.

The objective of personal risk management is to increase the probability and impact of positive events, and decrease and limit the probability and impact of negative events, specifically untimely death or illness, financial ruin and major traumatic events during the life time of the individual.

The author’s experience has led to broadly defining personal risk management as,

“Using a structured approach, applied in a personal setting, to identify and limit life decisions and events that may negatively impact on the individual, their family and the organisation they serve.”

A number of risk management standards depict risk management as an integral component of the organisation. The value of managing the personal risk of the CEO and key executives for instance, could lead to a number of beneficial outcomes for the organisation and adversely, if note done, could incur major consequences.

Given the number of untimely deaths, or diseases that strike key executives and business owners around the world, personal risk management would contribute to the long term sustainability, profitability and continuity of the organisation.

In additional, the management of one’s own personal exposures or impacts from a diseased state of being, would improve performance, bring about vitality and a greater quality of life. A life worth living and especially when one has a goal of vitality and longevity.

Thank you for reading this article. Your comments to how you have implemented or thinking about implementing personal risk management, are welcome. Shared success stories are an added bonus for our diverse community.

For any further insight on this important subject, you welcome send us a message to psmanjak@infiniterisk.com.

Peter Šmanjak

Owner and Founder at Infinite Risk

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