Brexit, theft and data breaches are all concerns facing SMEs, but what do they fear the most?

An independent study, which was commissioned by Allianz Insurance, has revealed what SMEs fear the most.

Conducted by market research company OnePoll and released today, ’Supporting SMEs to Prosper,’ an independent survey of 500 SME business leaders found that data breaches were top of their list of fears.

Other concerns include the impact of Brexit, theft or damage to business equipment or property, or their competitors advancing their technology.

Despite this fear, a survey from November 2017 found that only half of SMEs had cyber cover, with 32% of those without insurance citing a lack of interest from senior management as the reason.

Now, it appears those senior managers have come around to the idea of having an adequate cyber insurance policy in place.

The Top Five Threats concerning them most are:

  1. Data loss/misuse/theft
  2. The impact of Brexit
  3. Theft or malicious damage to business equipment or property
  4. More advanced technology adopted by their competitors
  5. A significant interruption to their business.

But, worryingly, only half of the respondents (50%) said they fully understood the risks facing their business and in good news for insurance brokers, 50% of SMEs said that they would welcome further information from an expert source about these risks.

David Martin, director of SME and corporate partnerships at Allianz Insurance, said:

“SMEs clearly recognise the significant threat data and security breaches pose to their businesses, as well as more traditional risks such as theft or business interruption.

”The findings demonstrate that many small business leaders would welcome further information on how their business may be affected by these risks. 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.ʺ

Recruitment is a challenge

Along with SME fears, the report revealed their biggest challenges this year, and it appears recruitment is proving to be the toughest challenge of all, with competition, innovation and IT capability also proving to be challenges.

The Top Five Business Challenges facing SMEs in 2018, with recruitment issues topping the list:

  1. Recruiting the right calibre of people
  2. Competition from other providers
  3. Innovation
  4. Time management
  5. IT capability

Martin continued: “SMEs are currently operating in a very uncertain environment. As an industry, we hold a huge amount of expertise, not only on risk management but also on wider business issues. Our research demonstrates that there is a real opportunity to provide SME customers with expert guidance on issues such as recruitment, marketing and innovation.

He added: “Through our in-depth research with SMEs we’ve been able to gain some excellent insights into the priorities of the sector. We will incorporate these insights into our future product development and innovations to make sure our propositions are aligned with the evolving needs of our SME customers.

“In turn this will provide brokers with targeted insurance cover to offer to their SME customers.”