93% of brokers expect their SME books to grow over the next 12 months

Business growth

More than 90% of brokers expect their SME business to grow over the next 12 months, according to a survey of delegates at the recent Knowledge Live event held in London.

Brokers attending the event were asked how they expected their SME books to perform over the next year, with 93% saying they expected it to increase in size.

Furthermore, 40% of brokers said they expected their SME business to grow by more than 10% over the same period (see below).

Speaking at the event, Zurich head of SME Jason Eatock said this growth would be driven by a prospering SME sector that was starting to regain the confidence lost in the recession.

“There are some really good signs about recovery in the UK economy, and some really good signs about recovery for SMEs,” he said. “That was reflected in the poll we conducted, and there is obviously a lot of confidence about the opportunities brokers have in the SME market.”

Broker network chief executive Andy Fairchild, appearing on the Knowledge Live panel, said the SME marketplace was currently a vibrant business area for commercial brokers.

But despite the successes being enjoyed by SMEs, Fairchild said that the sector still spent proportionately less on insurance than other businesses, and that brokers needed to make sure they offered quality advice to make the most of the SME market.

“The proportion of their turnover SMEs are spending on insurance premiums is still extraordinarily low,” he said. “For the value they are deriving from it, you have to look at the quality of the broking advice.

“The number of independent brokers has fallen significantly, but the stronger ones have been thriving and surviving, and that is down to the quality of advice they are providing [for their SME customers].”

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