Making informed insurance decisions during challenging times
Over the last few years, many businesses have demonstrated their resilience and ability to deal with challenging circumstances. Even as we have evolved to a state of living with the pandemic, 2022 has also delivered a wide variety of events for businesses to deal with.
La Niña, currently in its third consecutive season, has wreaked havoc, with several floods impacting many businesses, particularly in regional areas. In most years, this would be the dominant news story but 2022 has delivered a range of other significant issues including the war in Ukraine, geopolitical tensions, cyber-attacks, stock market fluctuations, the collapse of cryptocurrencies, a change in federal government and a new Head of State.
Underpinning these momentous events has been the increasingly challenging economic conditions. Price rises, labour shortages, interest rate rises, and the threat of economic downturn are having a tangible impact on many Australian businesses.
Section 1 Many businesses are feeling the effect of rising costs
Manuel: We sell a product that’s not a necessity.
SUPER: Manuel, Café, Small Business, Heavy Broker User
as soon as there's an interest rate rise or the war, petrol, any kind of major influence on people's budgets, we're the first ones to go.
cost of goods for us has gone through the roof and we cannot reflect that on our prices. … we just have to wear it. Profits go down.
Louise: It's a bit frustrating when you're doing the same, sometimes even better sales than before and you're like, "Oh, my profits are down."
SUPER: Louise, Pilates Studio, Small Business, Mixed Broker User
Maggie: A lot of business have closed over the past three years and you just try so hard to keep afloat... because you've got to pay your staff.
SUPER: Maggie, Printing Services, Small Business, Mixed Broker User
Section 2 Some are making changes to their insurance to bring down premiums
Naciye: obviously anywhere where we can save money we're going to try and do that.
SUPER: Naciye, Cosmetics Wholesale and Online Retailing, Medium Business, Mixed Broker User
Maggie: There is an offer of paying monthly and actually this is the first year that we have done that because it was close to $9,000. And because there was a downturn in business, we just thought well let's just do it month by month. We might pay an extra two to $300 in fees but over 12 months it wasn't that bad when we worked it out
Paul: We look from an insurance perspective to lock in long-term deals in terms of coverage and that's purely from a cost perspective … If we've got an option on the table that we can lock in a certain price and a certain coverage, that's something that we look at, absolutely.
SUPER: Paul, Water and Sewer Services, Large Business, Heavy Broker User
Section 3 Brokers can play a valuable role in helping businesses make smart cost decisions
Naciye: that was just as easy as calling up my broker and saying, "Is there anything we can do? … she obviously said to me, "Well, you tell me what's changed, … and I can see what I can do."
Manue: I believe he's looking after me. He's giving me the feel of, "Look, we've got you.
Have I upgraded any kind of security or has there been any upgrades to the store? And then they may be able to incorporate a lower rate
Peter: they will come up with a risk mitigation plan for us, that if we'll mitigate this risk within a certain timeframe, we can expect to get reduction in our premiums
Peter, Automotive Manufacturing, Large Business, Mixed Broker User
Paul: the brokers have been on the front foot in terms of forward-looking and seeing what the market is doing. So they put the offers on the table,
Vero SME Insurance index webinar, Hear from real businesses on the issues they are dealing with and what they are looking for in terms of support from an insurance perspective. As well as an insightful panel discussion on the key findings and opportunities.
In challenging times, understanding Australian businesses has never been more important, and so we hope that the 12th edition of the Vero SME Insurance Index gives you, our partners, valuable and actionable insights. We have spoken to insurance decision makers in 1,500 SMEs and 250 large businesses to shine a light on their attitudes, needs and behaviours when it comes to insurance, and insurance brokers more specifically. The state of the economy is central to many businesses’ behaviours and therefore this year’s Index has explored the impact that economic concerns are having on insurance decision making.
Importantly, our findings highlight the critical role that brokers can play in helping businesses make good insurance decisions that will protect them and support their ambitions for long-term, sustainable growth.
The current environment is tumultuous but presents a clear opportunity for brokers to shine by demonstrating their expertise, professionalism, and ability to deliver value to businesses as they deal with challenging conditions.
We hope you find this year’s Vero SME Insurance Index informative and useful as you plan for the year ahead.
The 2023 Vero SME Insurance Index focuses on the role brokers can play in helping businesses manage risk in difficult times, including:
- How broker usage, satisfaction and trust have shifted over time
- The economic impact on insurance behaviour and key risks
- How brokers support better insurance decision making
- The role brokers can play in improving the claims experience
One of the benefits of long-term studies such as this is the ability to track how behaviours and attitudes evolve over time. Since the launch of the Index 12 years ago, we have been able to follow key measures such as how widely brokers are used and considered by businesses, how satisfied businesses are with their brokers and levels of trust.
To see the full findings for 2023 and what they mean for brokers:
Source: The SME Insurance Index report research was conducted by BrandMatters. See www.brandmatters.com.au
AAI Limited ABN 48 005 297 807 trading as Vero Insurance (Vero) has prepared the Vero SME Insurance Index Report (Report) & Webinar. The information in the Report & Webinar is general information only and is not intended to be relied upon – please make your own enquiries. Subject to any rights you may have under any law, Vero and its related bodies corporate do not assume or accept any legal responsibility for any loss or damage, including loss of business or profits or any other indirect loss, relating to the Webinar & Report. Vero and its related bodies corporate do not guarantee the accuracy, reliability, completeness or currency of the information provided. The Webinar & Report are not a recommendation or statement of opinion about whether a reader or viewer should acquire insurance from Vero (or its related bodies corporate) or services from any insurance intermediary or otherwise alter their business arrangements. The Webinar & Report are based on commissioned research by Vero and should not be used as the basis for any decision in relation to the acquisition or disposal of insurance products or the use of broker services. Readers should confirm information and interpretation of information by seeking independent advice.