Does your business have the insurance cover it needs? New statistics released by AXA Business Insurance suggest that most of the 4.9 million SMEs in the UK are operating, most likely unknowingly, without the necessary cover. Plus, more than half a million could be breaking the law by not having an adequate business insurance plan in place.

This research comes as the number of SMEs continues to rise – causing concern that the majority of new and existing firms are extremely vulnerable as a result of being unprotected.

Darrell Sansom, managing director of AXA Business Insurance, said: “Insurance may feel like one of the little bits of admin that you ought to sort out at some point but not having it can have big consequences.

“Claims for liability can run into millions of pounds and not having cover in place is putting you, your business, your employers, clients and others at risk.”

Businesses are not being properly insured

According to the figures, more than half of businesses requiring employers’ liability insurance cover by law (53%) do not have it and 43% of public-facing firms are not covered for any accidents or damage they may be responsible for.

On top of this, 52% of companies paid by clients for business advice do not have professional indemnity cover and four in ten have not got the insurance needed for using their business vehicle.

Shockingly, around half of SMEs questioned did not have employer’s liability in place, which is required by law. This is compulsory for all businesses employing part-time, full-time or contract staff. Besides this, 23% of the companies that had this insurance failed to display a certificate – an offence punishable by a £1,000 fine.

Mr Sansom pointed out that, with the average cost of liability or professional indemnity insurance being around £17 per month, there is no excuse not to be covered.

He said: “We appreciate that generally there is no intention on the part of these businesses to break the law or to put themselves and others at risk. Often it is a case of not knowing what’s needed, forgetting to do the admin or possibly worrying about the additional cost of insurance.

“But a little attention to detail could really mean a lot if you have to make a claim.”

If you’d like help ensuring your business is fully covered or need information about your business insurance, get in touch with us today to speak to one of our insurance specialists.

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