Revealed - the percentage of Canadian small businesses that are uninsured

New survey reveals how businesses are faring in 2022

Revealed - the percentage of Canadian small businesses that are uninsured

Commercial Solutions

By Lyle Adriano

In spite of an ongoing global pandemic, high inflation, the surge in gas prices, and worries about an impending recession, most small business owners and self-employed professionals are confident about their prospects for the remainder of the year – although more could use proper commercial insurance, a survey by insurtech Zensurance has found.

To prepare for its inaugural Zensurance Small Business Confidence Index, Zensurance conducted an online survey of 222 Canadian small business owners and self-employed professionals across the country. Of the sample, 11% were working in construction and professional trades, 10% in retail and e-commerce, 9% in health and wellness, 9% in technology, 6% in hospitality and tourism, 6% in finance, 5% in manufacturing, 3% in engineering, and 1% in sports. The remaining 40% had listed their industry or profession as “other.”

The survey found that 46% of respondents admitted that their revenue was either down or about the same in the first half of this year, compared to the first half of 2021. However, 60% indicated that they are confident that their businesses will be more successful in the second half of 2022, eclipsing the pandemic’s previous negative impact, Zensurance noted.

When asked how much of an impact the pandemic has had on their businesses or professions since the start of 2022, 36% said that it had a moderately negative effect, while 21% said it significantly impacted them. Some 31% claimed that it had little or no impact on their businesses. However, nearly 7% commented that the pandemic had a moderately positive impact, and about 4% said it had a significantly positive impact.

While most of the respondents said they were upbeat about their prospects later this year, slightly over 52% said that their businesses cannot afford to take on more debt to fund necessary projects or initiatives. On the other hand, 29% said they can afford to take on more debt in 2022, and another 18% said they are not sure.

"It's encouraging and a little surprising to see a majority of small business owners, entrepreneurs, and self-employed professionals as confident as they are when looking ahead,” said Zensurance CEO Danish Yusuf. “However, record-high inflation, the cost of gasoline, and supply chain reliability remain top-of-mind for many. Also, there are worries about a recession, and the pandemic is not over yet.”

"Nevertheless, these results speak to Canadian business owners' resiliency. Their confidence that consumer demand will remain strong and they'll be successful despite economic headwinds is inspiring,” the chief executive added.

Other key findings of the report include:

  • Nearly 40% of respondents said they do not have a business insurance policy.
  • Among those who do not have a business insurance policy, 25% said they do not think they need it, while others said it costs too much. Some (16%) also believe that their personal home and auto insurance would cover them, and 13% said they have not thought about insurance.
  • Among those who have insurance, 15% said that insurance is a legal or regulatory requirement for their profession or industry, while 13% said they got insurance thanks to a broker’s influence, and another 13% said it was due to encouragement from family and friends, and 8% got insurance because of advice from a mentor. Meanwhile, 3% said they got insurance after being influenced by advertisements, and 2% said they got insurance after hearing stories in the media.

“Some of the views small businesses have on business insurance are troubling. They may not be aware of the risks they are taking that could prove to be financially catastrophic without an insurance policy," said Yusuf. "No small business or independent professional is immune to the threat of a lawsuit or an accident. The cost of a lawsuit – even a frivolous one – or an unexpected event like a fire damaging or destroying a business property and all your inventory far exceeds the price of a commercial insurance policy.”

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