Helping small businesses through the insurance minefield


Insurance can be a complex business, so filing an insurance claim can be daunting task for many small businesses. When an incident does occur, be it property damage, business interruption, professional indemnity or public liability among the myriad of other potential causes of loss, it is typically a period of concern and uncertainty.

Here the hand-holding that brokers offer their clients can make a big difference, offering reassurance and advice. But it is a speedy settlement that is critical to getting a company back on its feet. Such an outcome is particularly important during the current economic environment, with banks continuing reluctance to lend to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). A protracted claims process could prevent a small business from trading, threatening its survival.

The economic downturn has also had an impact on the risk profiles of many SMEs, with companies diversifying their offerings and becoming leaner. Some common examples include extending opening hours, plumbers turning their hand to fitting solar panels, bookshop owners serving hot drinks or newsagents bringing in cash or lottery machines. These changes demonstrate the spirit of SME innovation, however there are liability implications.

By maintaining a close dialogue with its broker channel, insurers can stay on top of these changes, ensure their clients have the right depth and breadth of coverage and therefore when losses occur, there is no cause for dispute or repudiation.

Claims “triage” or decision-tree analysis allows claims departments to determine which cases can be approved speedily while isolating those that require further investigation. Using key data, such as the size of a claim, past history etc enables claims handlers to choose the correct handling process. Such an approach can help avoid backlogs, reducing the claims lifecycle and ensuring a satisfactory and speedy settlement for small business customers.

Data visualization

SAS works closely with its insurance customers to apply analytics across the entire claims process, reducing loss ratios and lowering loss-adjustment expenses through the more strategic and efficient use of data. You can download the white paper Predictive Claims Processing and find out more at


About Author

Simon Kirby

Sr Business Solutions Manager

Simon has over twenty years’ experience working in the insurance and banking sectors. As Senior Pre-Sales Consultant and Solvency II specialist, Simon’s role is to understand both the complexities of the Directive and the challenges being faced by insurers. He enjoys demonstrating to clients how they could manage risk more effectively and helping them get the most out of Solvency II, not only in terms of compliance but also long term business benefit.


  1. I do agree with Angela, insurers and brokers have to produce a range of new products to accommodate such developments in the market and in order to ensure business risk is clearly understood and addressed at an event of a potential claim, letting the business owners focus on the running of their business than anything else.

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