SMEs are feeling optimistic about 2013

Small businesses are feeling confident about trading conditions according to Aviva’s bi-annual SME survey ‘Pulse’[1], with twice as many SMEs (65%) expecting average to strong sales in the first half of 2013, compared to just 32% in the same period last year.

The report reveals that nearly twice as many SMEs (30%) diversified their business in the past six months to maintain business profitability compared to 17% during the same time in 2011. Almost one in four (23%) are planning to continue diversifying in the first six months of 2013 to keep their business healthy.

Julian Hilton, Jelf Insurance Brokers Regional Managing Director for Wales said: “SMEs lie at the heart of Britain’s economic recovery so it is very positive to see such optimism for the year ahead.

“If a business is considering diversifying it is important to consider how this will affect your insurance and to check whether you are still appropriately covered.”

Our top tips
1. Business description – It’s important to ensure your business description is accurate as this dictates the warranties and conditions of the policy. When speaking to your broker ensure that you divulge all relevant information about your business to them. Your broker should ask probing questions to gather all information, but don’t be afraid about volunteering things you may think irrelevant. Not mentioning something you do as a business could have disastrous consequences when making a claim.

2. Make sure you read the small print – Spending a little time to check the warranties / conditions and exclusions could prevent problems if a claim occurs. Not abiding by a warranty or condition could render a claim null and void even if the warranty/condition has nothing to do with the claim being made.

3. Is your Health & Safety policy up to date? Does it reflect your changing business? Depending on your industry, it is important to ensure that you, as well as those working for you, are provided with the appropriate clothing/equipment. Make sure that records are kept of what PPE (personal protective equipment) has been issued and get employees to sign for it. Not only could this reduce the risk of an employers’ liability claim occurring, but also shows a good attitude to risk and can help in negotiating the correct cover and discounted premiums, as well as being sensible working practice.

4. Rehearse and review your business continuity plan, is it still meeting your needs? If it was written a while ago or your business has grown or changed it may be worth checking your plan is still adequate.

Jelf Insurance Brokers Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority (FSA) Not all products and services offered are regulated by the FSA.

Jelf Insurance Brokers has more than 30 offices across England and Wales. The company provides a full range of insurance services to businesses of all sizes, including specialist insurance in niche sectors and personal insurance to individuals.