Are value-added services the answer for SME clients?

Services provide expertise that an SME wouldn’t otherwise have access to – and a USP for brokers

Are value-added services the answer for SME clients?


By Lucy Hook

For businesses facing today’s complex landscape of risks, taking out insurance is about more than just securing the right cover at the right price – for SMEs in particular, access to value-added services can provide crucial support to protect a business, says insurer Zurich.

There is certainly no lack of concerns for businesses today, from emerging risks such as the uncertainty surrounding Brexit and the threat of cyberattacks, to mainstays like the risk of fire and flood to physical premises.

For SMEs, the reality of these threats can be devastating – research from the Association of British Insurers suggests that up to 80% of businesses that suffer a major incident will fail within 18 months.

“If an SME encounters an unexpected event, there is often an immediate impact on their business. They don’t have the scale or resources to deal with something in the way that a bigger company would,” Jo Shaw, head of SME transformation at Zurich, told Insurance Business.

“They are generally not experts in business continuity, and they probably wouldn’t have even thought about what would happen if they had a flood, for example, and whether they would be able to still keep their business running,” she explained.

For small businesses, value-added services can provide critical support in the event of an incident, or in the case of risk management solutions, to prevent it from happening in the first place. Zurich’s tailored SME proposition includes access to a range of services that span legal helplines, cyber support, and disaster recovery. These are available via brokers on ZTrade.

“These value-added services open the door to expertise that SMEs wouldn’t ordinarily have access to. Without these, they likely wouldn’t have the resources to manage an incident alone,” commented Shaw.

Zurich’s business interruption covers up to £2 million (£1 million per office) as standard. In the event of a physical loss, Zurich partners with First Recovery who equip customers with phones and networked computers within 24 hours.

Cyber-related risks are covered too: a dedicated Cyber Protect helpline provides SME customers with advice from fully-trained digital forensic investigators, and web-based tool helps customers monitor what people are saying about their business online.

Zurich’s clients can even access an online risk management application, Virtual Consulting, which uses Zurich claims data to identify the top causes of loss for SME customers and offers guidance on how to mitigate the risks.

The services offer vital support that most smaller customers in particular could not afford to pay for separately – a valuable extra that brokers should emphasise during conversations with clients, according to Shaw.

She added: “As a broker, if you have two policies that are very similar in terms of the cover and price, but one has these added value services in there, that’s a unique selling point that can provide an SME with knowledge and expertise – it’s a real benefit.”

Zurich’s offering for small businesses is available via brokers through ZTrade.

Related stories:
D&O for SMEs becoming a key sell for brokers, says Zurich
High street SMEs having to evolve in new landscape, says Zurich

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