At a time when business deaths are rife, with large firms folding under the strain of the current economic climate, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are proving to be one of the most valuable resources in the current economic climate.
Impressively accounting for an astonishing 99.9 per cent of all UK enterprises, SMEs play a big part in the country’s wealth. The Statistical Release from the Department for Business Innovation & Skills revealed that our SMEs were creditable for annual turnover of £3,100 billion in 2011, in addition to providing employment for a staggering estimated 23.4 million UK citizens.
In complete contrast 2011 was an abysmal year for corporations and nationwide market leaders. According to Insolvency Direct’s recent Statistics Release, ‘there were 4,242 compulsory liquidations and creditors’ voluntary liquidations in total in England and Wales in the third quarter of 2011.’ The first five months of 2012 have also been quick to claim the business deaths of 30 prominent high street retailers such as La Senza, Firetrap and Pumpkin Patch.
As we watch a progressive amount of big names enter administration, the importance of protecting our SMEs is apparent. Making a pre-emptive effort to recession proof your business is the best hope of surviving the downturn – make energy efficient changes, maintain marketing strategies and insure your business to cover any unexpected and unaffordable pay outs.
Although it is in the best interest of your business to take out adequate insurance, it is not a legal requirement to invest in public liability or professional indemnity insurance. Businesses which employ a permanent or ad-hoc workforce are obliged by law to purchase employers liability insurance to cover any work-based accidents or injuries experienced by your team members.
Hiscox insurance for business provides tailored insurance packages to suit your industry and the size of your business. As a trusted specialist international insurer, Hiscox insurance for business can give you the peace of mind you need to embark on your enterprise endeavours without the worry of incident implications.
Although your workforce may be reliable, key annual figures from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) suggest that all employers should consider a concise contingency plan complete with employer liability cover. In the financial year 2010/11, there were a total of 171 employee deaths and 200,000 reportable injuries which resulted in a three day absence or more. Aside from mortality and injury rates, a staggering 1.2 million of workers took time off due to industry related or induced illness.
Whatever your line of work, opting to invest in public liability insurance is advisable whether you work independently or run your own small enterprise. The cover will protect you should any accident or injury occur at a monetary or health detriment to a client, consumer or supplier.
Simple mishaps including electronic damages and dinted door cars are insured, as well as accidental impacts on the health of your professional connections.
The current ‘claim climate’ has seen a rise in individuals and businesses that are willing to file a claim over diminutive disorders as well as the legitimate larger issues. The Compensation Recovery Unit from the Department of Work and Pensions found that in 2010/11 the total cost of compensation amounted to an astounding, £10,606,832. It is thought that a high proportion – of up to 51 per cent – of these claims were initiated by influential Claims Management Companies (CMCs).
CMCs typically work on a no win, no fee basis and convincingly offer individuals to file claims for incidents which are often exaggerated and sometimes fraudulent. In addition to the dishonest claims, there is a proportion of instances in which genuine applications are made, the combination of the three leading to an 18 per cent rise in claims from 2007 to 2011.
Avoid falling subject to astronomical compensation pay outs by protecting yourself and your business from all eventualities. Professional indemnity insurance covers your company throughout any gaps within public or employer liability insurance.
In the instance where your business may be at risk of claims surrounding negligence, unintentional infringement of copyright, damaged or mislaid property, dishonesty and defamation, professional indemnity insurance will cover all legal fees and the maximum compensation which could be charged against you.
Protect your SME during this dire downturn and prepare for all contingencies. Hiscox insurance for business can arrange bespoke cover to suit your business size and industry, while you focus on finding cost cutting opportunities within the workplace.