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The Actuary The magazine of the Institute & Faculty of Actuaries

SMEs reveal appetite for more risk management advice

Half of small and medium-sized companies (SMEs) in the UK would welcome more expert advice on the risks facing their business, research from Allianz Insurance has found. 

Important that SMEs remain key part of the economy ©Shutterstock
Important that SMEs remain key part of the economy ©Shutterstock


The company’s director of SME and corporate partnerships, David Martin, said this presents a “real opportunity” for insurers, and that smaller firms are operating in a “very uncertain environment”.

It was also found that just half of SMEs believe they fully understand the threats facing their business, with worries around data loss and Brexit among their most pressing concerns.

“As an industry, we hold a huge amount of expertise, not only on risk management, but also on wider business issues,” Martin said.

“Brokers and insurers can add further value to the relationship with their customers by raising these issues, and providing advice on how to mitigate against them.”

The research involved a survey of 500 SME business leaders, finding that data loss, misuse and theft is considered the number one threat facing smaller companies in 2018.

When asked earlier in the year before the introduction of General Data Protection Regulation, 49% of SMEs said they were not fully aware of the implications of the new EU rules.

The impact of Brexit is seen as the next biggest threat, followed by theft or damage to property, competitors adopting more advanced technology, and significant business interruptions.

It was also found that recruitment is considered the top business challenge for this year, followed by competition from other providers, innovation, time management and IT capability.

With a combined annual turnover of £1.9trn, and representing 60% of all private sector employment, Allianz said it was important to help SMEs remain a key part of the economy.

Brokers could do this by providing expertise on setting up risk registers, putting together business continuity plans, and highlighting intangible risks.

“Let’s work together to ensure SMEs remain a powerful part of the economy, and that they understand through positive experience, the range of expertise the insurance industry has to offer,” Martin added.

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