These are tough times for small business, with the latest Companies House data showing over 500,000 businesses were dissolved in 2022, down slightly from the 2021 post Covid total of over 600,000. But inflation in labour costs, transport, materials, plus overheads like energy continue to affect many businesses. Adding insurance, often a legal requirement, can be another unwelcome monthly overhead. So it pays to shop around for the best deal. That usually means tailored cover for your business sector; cyber, fleet, public and Directors liability, legal defence cover, trademark battles – could be a range of needs.
Here’s the word from Russell Scanlan;
According to the British Government, there are more than 5.5 million small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the UK, accounting for three-fifths of UK employment. This represents a huge proportion of the UK’s workforce, so it’s important that all SMEs obtain the right insurance policies to protect employees, equipment and assets. Here, Simon Winiarski, Director at Nottingham-based specialist Insurance Broker Russell Scanlan offers some advice for SMEs looking for insurance cover.
All SMEs must obtain some form of employers’ liability insurance to cover the cost of compensating employees who become injured or ill through work. Furthermore, it’s likely that a business will have a suite of tools or technology, which require contents cover, or even a small fleet of vehicles needing commercial motor insurance. The problem is, a lack of business experience for a startup or SME might lead to increases in excess requirements from insurance companies, or a lack of quotes altogether.
Contact an Insurance Broker
Just like new drivers having to pay higher insurance premiums due to a lack of road experience, it’s common for insurance providers to increase excess requirements for new businesses. Due to this expense, SMEs may not have appropriate cover to meet their needs. Whether you are a sole trader, have a handful of employees or teams of people and assets – knowing you have the right cover in place can give you the peace of mind you need to focus on running your business.
An insurance broker specialising in insurance for SMEs can negotiate cover for everything across the market, from professional indemnity insurance to public liability. Every business risk is handled in exactly the same way, with in-person valuations and assessments to prevent over or under insurance. Furthermore, specialists can provide a package or product, which is specifically tailored to an industry. This means that if you have a particularly unique business need, you won’t need to waste time and on administration, trying to source the most cost-effective solution.
Consider your cyber risk
According to Vodaphone, 54% of SMEs experienced between one and five cyber-attacks in 2022, up from 39% in 2020. This escalation can be attributed to the rapid evolution of collaboration tools used by remote workers and schools during the pandemic. However, because legislation has evolved at a much slower pace, hackers and ransomware gangs have been able to easily exploit these tools to become more agile.
It’s important that SMEs consider this cyber risk when renewing their insurance policies, as insufficient cover could be both costly, from a financial perspective, and damaging to business reputation. Chartered insurance brokers are proactive in their outlook to cyber-security by paying close attention to detailed integrated cyber response services provided by insurers, as well as expected first and third party covers. Furthermore, chartered brokers are well placed to point you in the direction of relevant technical forensic investigation and cyber incident management teams, who can provide the necessary legal advice.
Claims made easy
As a hypothetical example, if your business fell victim to a cyber-attack and you needed to make a claim, the process can involve a lot of administration. Furthermore, if this should this happen, insurance brokers will often have dedicated claims handling and management teams to ensure the underwriter makes good on the promise to pay. Russell Scanlan, for example, has a claims team led by Steve Wright, Claims Director. The team will accompany loss adjusters on site visits, organise meetings with insurers and work with third-party incident management teams to ensure the claims experience runs smoothly.
Currently, SMEs make up the largest proportion of companies in the UK. However, they also have the most to lose if they are underinsured. To learn more about our services for SMEs, head to the Russell Scanlan website today https://www.russellscanlan.com/small-business-insurance/small-business-package/, or contact us on 0115 798 0786.