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More than just insurance for SMEs

At a glance

  • From protecting their staff and assets, to embracing a digital world, today’s SMEs face a diverse range of risks
  • Research suggests that 80% of businesses suffering a major incident fail within 18 months
  • We look at how Zurich’s SME proposition can access an expert support network and help your customers manage challenging risks

When the media spotlight shines on the challenges facing SMEs, uncertainty, is a word that crops up time and again.

Countless commentators have discussed how the uncertainty over everything from Brexit to global oil prices is causing anxiety for small and medium-sized business owners.

In addition to these political and economic developments, your customers face concerns over new and emerging risks – from disruptive technologies to the growing threat of phishing and cyber crime.

Key risks facing your SME customers

Zurich’s latest SME Risk Index highlights some of these concerns. The Index is at its highest point since the first quarter of 2014 – indicating that SMEs feel that the business risks they face are greater than at any point during the last two years. Nearly one in 12 (8%) SME owners admit to having considered closing their business.

Cyber and technology is causing particular concern for many. The Index shows that more than two in five (42%) SME owners consider the vulnerability of their technology to be the biggest risk to the success of their company – with cyber attacks, data loss and privacy breaches all highlighted as key concerns.

What Zurich’s SME Proposition includes

Business interruption – our cover automatically includes a limit of £2m (£1m for Office), reassuring you and your small customers that they have adequate cover.

Legal cover and helplines – with many small businesses vulnerable to legal action, we provide £100,000 legal cover as standard, plus access to online legal advice and helplines.

Online reputation – we have teamed up with Reputation.com to offer a free service, helping your customers monitor what people are saying about their business online.

Online risk management – Virtual Consulting is a free, web-based risk management application, which uses our claims data to identify the top causes of loss for your SME customers and guidance on how to mitigate the risks.

Cyber Protect – customers can phone this helpline to receive advice from a fully trained digital forensic investigator.

Disaster recovery – our partner ‘First Recovery’ will commence equipping your customers with phones and networked computers within 24 hours of a major loss.

This concern about cyber risks is justified. Nearly half of all the cyber attacks recorded globally in 2015 involved businesses employing fewer than 250 staff.

Major loss is a major concern

Physical threats remain a major concern for SMEs, too. The impact of a major loss such as a fire or flood, or even the breakdown of a vital piece of machinery, can be devastating. Research suggests that 80% of businesses suffering a major incident fail within 18 months.

Your customers need appropriate cover to mitigate these key risks, but they also need to be able to access the right support to help see them through a crisis.

Providing extra support for SMEs

At Zurich, we have tailored our SME proposition to carefully match the needs of your customers. Our products include a range of additional services that can give your customers peace of mind, and allow them to concentrate on growing their businesses.

Should your customers suffer a major loss, one of their first priorities will be to minimise business interruption by resuming normal operations as quickly as possible.

Our partnership with First Recovery gives your customers access to a specialist disaster recovery service. The team at First Recovery are experts in sourcing suitable alternative premises in the event of a loss. They can also help to minimise other forms of disruption, for example by ensuring a speedy reconnection of email services and internet access.

In the initial aftermath of a damaging cyber incident, your customers may not know where to turn. Our Cyber Protect helpline is available for customers who believe they have been a victim of data loss, equipment failure, theft of intellectual property, hacking or cyber fraud.

Good for customers, good for brokers

Our SME proposition (see boxout for a full list of additional services) offers a host of benefits to you, as well as to your customers.

Our Virtual Consulting tool, for example, gives customers detailed information about common causes of loss in their sector. Because brokers can also access this tool, it creates a perfect opportunity for you to build relations with your customers and understand more about their priorities and challenges.

You will also have easy access to our expert underwriters, and when using our online trading platform ZTrade, you will be accessing the same portal as our underwriting team.

The additional services provided through our SME proposition are designed to allow your customers to focus more of their energy on expanding their businesses. And as your customers’ businesses grow, there will be increased opportunities for you to support them in their success. To find out more about what our SME proposition could mean for you and your customers, speak to your usual contact.

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