Brokers are the kings of the SME jungle SMEs rely heavily on the dominant broker beasts who have the knowledge and expertise to fulfil their complex policy cover needs.
One example is the range of health risks in the workplace. Brokers are uniquely placed to offer their traditional service by helping commercial customers understand and address risks to the business and to the health of those in the SME sector (page 16).
Plus, there is a growing danger that UK SMEs will be caught out by environmental legislation based on EU directives (page 10). Brokers can play a crucial role in educating SMEs about these diktats, assuming of course the broker is already au fait with the subject. If not, then this article should be a stepping stone to a good education.
There is no doubt the SME sector is a big slice for brokers to exploit.
There are over four million businesses in the UK and 99.2% of these are classed as "small" or "medium". Of these, around 2.8 million are sole traders - so there is plenty of SME lolly to go around.
The SME market is therefore a lucrative and promising sector for insurers as well, but insurers wanting to cream off from the SME pot have to make sure they deliver more than just simple standard packaged solutions (page 24).
But brokers must beware of complacency in thinking they will always be the SME kings. A report by Datamonitor shows that around 60% of small and medium companies would consider buying their commercial insurance direct.
Is this enough to question whether the SME/broker relationship is a strong marriage or a convenient passing fling? (page 6). The conclusion seems to be that brokers need to stick to their strengths of offering in-depth advice to give their SME clients a range of policy cover options. If they do so, the SME jungle will remain their domain for some time to come.