Around 30% of SMEs recently surveyed by Vero Insurance New Zealand are considering changes to their business insurance.
Vero surveyed over 600 New Zealand small medium enterprises (SMEs) across the COVID-19 pandemic to understand the impact of the virus on their businesses and their current and planned insurance purchasing behaviour.

Research reveals around 30% of the SMEs surveyed are currently considering changes to their business insurance. In the current environment, 20% are looking to increase their cover and 10% are thinking about decreasing cover.

“71% of the SMEs surveyed say they have taken a revenue hit post-COVID,” said Mr Mark Wilkshire, Vero’s executive general manager overseeing customer experience. 

“We found business owners are twice as likely to be impacted by financial vulnerability compared to householders. 39% of business owners say their household is now struggling to make ends meet, compared to 21% pre-COVID.”

Vero has implemented comprehensive support options to help its SME customers, including Suncorp New Zealand’s NZ$2m ($1.3m) hardship fund  to assist Vero and Asteron Life customers who are experiencing financial pressure as a result of COVID-19 to maintain their insurance cover. 

Vero’s support options for its SME customers include payment assistance options for SME customers when their policies renew, flexible payment terms and adjusting excesses on business insurance policies.  Vero’s SME customers can access this assistance by reaching out to their insurance broker.

“Our 2019 Vero SME Index findings showed brokers providing tailored risk management advice add substantial value to SMEs. That advice is independent, impartial and can help businesses face the future with confidence,” said Mr Wilkshire.

Vero will be using the findings to work with brokers and advisers to help them offer a compelling proposition to SMEs, but there is also a role for business owners to play by asking themselves where expert advice could help.  

The survey findings were released ahead of the full 2020 Vero SME Insurance Index, which delves into the insurance market for New Zealand SMEs. Vero’s findings from this year’s survey will be released this month.

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