While there has been a lot of noise in the press about the impact of firstly Brexit and more recently the proposed business rate changes, these developments are not the only things UK businesses are worried about.
Our 2016 UK SME Insurance Survey has highlighted that a number of issues keep business managers awake at night. Top of the list is an event that will stop them trading – something we saw an example of a few years ago following the riots in London, with many businesses having to rebuild following damage to their shops. Those without business interruption cover struggled to cope with the loss of business while premises and stock were refurbished, and in some cases businesses folded.
The second most cited issue is reputational damage. This concern has likely been exacerbated due to the growth of social media, which allows customers to air any frustrations or opinions online – news of which quickly travels to the wider community.
Outside the top two, the next few issues are linked to cyber risks. The news regularly reports stories of companies that have suffered some kind of data loss, and this trend is likely to continue as we navigate our way through the information age. Technology now forms the backbone of most businesses, whether it is used to facilitate a purchase or deliver the infrastructure to run the business.
Overall these are challenging times for businesses, which are attempting to cope with changes from all directions. It is important to stay on top of new developments and manage risks accordingly, which is something insurers and brokers can help SMEs achieve. Risk management advice and new products such as cyber insurance can offer businesses vital insight and cover, giving business managers peace of mind so they are more prepared for the next unexpected challenge.