UK SMEs concerned over staff contracting COVID-19 will alter insurance propositions for the foreseeable future

Just over 60% of SME employers in the UK are concerned about staff contracting COVID-19, according to a survey by GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company. Only a very small percentage of SMEs expressed no concern at all, which suggests that this new way of working will continue for the majority of SME employees until the spread of the virus is curbed or a vaccine is found. This concern will lead to significant changes in how SMEs in the UK operate, and, while commercial insurers are set to lose out, household insurers could capitalize.

Further results from GlobalData’s survey found that larger SMEs were somewhat more likely to be very or extremely concerned in comparison to their small and medium-sized SME counterparts. This may be simply because they have more staff to look after, even though one staff member contracting the virus could be more damaging to a company with fewer employees. This level of concern may be encouraging for employee benefit and health insurance providers – the larger who are showing the most concern are the most likely to have commercial policies.

Ben Carey-Evans, Insurance Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “The survey also showed that 16% of SMEs had reported significantly increased levels of working from home, reducing the risk of employees contracting the virus. If home working continues for the foreseeable future, this could see businesses across the country move out of cities – or at least reduce their office footprint, which would be a huge blow to commercial property insurers. With offices being swapped for homes more regularly, the opportunity may switch to home insurers, who could upsell cover for equipment such as laptops.”

*Based on ‘slightly concerned’, ‘very concerned’, or ‘extremely concerned’ responses

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