Many UK SMEs do not have adequate levels of insurance warns AXA Commercial Lines today. The trend which loss adjusters agree has been developing for some time has been highlighted by last summer’s riot claims and recent research carried out by AXA.
David Williams, Claims and Underwriting Director for AXA Commercial Lines comments: “Often it isn’t until the point of claim that clients examine their level of cover. Sadly all too often the rebuilding cost of their properties, or the cost of replacement stock and materials, have not been kept up-to-date at renewal or have not taken account of business expansion.”
He continues: “To make matters worse, many clients do not realise that the interruption to their operations due to fire, flood or other disaster can cause the business to collapse, as turnover takes time to recover, and wages, rent and other expenses still have to be paid.
Most customers still only insure for a maximum period of 12 months following a loss, but for many this is proving to be insufficient to get the business back to full operation, given current rebuilding and re-supply timescales.”
To support brokers and their clients in addressing this issue, AXA Commercial Lines is offering its Commercial Combined, Motor Trade and Package policyholders a unique premium waiver.
On request, Sums Insured for Buildings, Contents and Stock will be increased free of charge by up to 20% (up to a maximum of £250,000). Business Interruption cover with a maximum indemnity period of 12 months, will also be increased free of charge on request to 18 months (with a consequent 50% increase of sum insured, maximum £250,000).
Matthew Reed, Managing Director, Intermediary for AXA Commercial Lines believes that insurers and brokers can work together to resolve the situation: “Our day to day involvement with SMEs and recent research shows that under insurance is a massive issue. It impacts SMEs themselves but leads them to question the reputation of insurers and brokers.
“That’s why we’re offering a proactive yet collaborative approach. Let’s all work together to make sure our SME customers have the right level of cover. We would urge brokers to contact their clients and carry out a mid-term review to bring their values and estimates up-to-date. We know that convincing SMEs to think about insurance outside of renewal can be an uphill struggle, but these are stark warnings, which clients should heed.”
These offers are valid from today until 30th June 2012 and will be free of charge until the next renewal date providing the policy is then renewed.