Startling Number of UK Small Businesses Without Cover

It is estimated that more than 225,000 small businesses in the United Kingdom—equal to 1 in 20—have no insurance cover, and 350,000 small businesses that employ staff lack the required employers’ liability cover, according to a recent industry survey.

Failing to secure insurance renders businesses vulnerable to massive compensation claims and fines that could easily shut down an entire organisation.

Businesses that refuse to purchase employers’ liability (EL) cover when they employ workers risk incurring fines from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) of £2,500 for each day without a valid EL policy. With insurers reporting a steady increase in EL claims against employers, the need for EL cover when employing workers continues to grow.

Even if a business has no employees and does not need EL, insurance is still essential. All businesses need to consider what will happen if they do not have proper business interruption cover, property and contents cover, public liability cover and more. A lapse in insurance could endanger your business.

Don’t be the 1 in 20 without cover—avoid getting caught by surprise with a hefty compensation claim. Contact Bluefin for help securing the appropriate level of cover.

New Surface-Water Flood Maps

Beginning 3 December, the Environment Agency (EA) will publish maps detailing areas at risk of surface-water flooding. When there is a risk, the EA classifies it as high, medium or low, corresponding to 1 in 30, 1 in 100 and 1 in 1,000 chances of flooding.

Anyone can use the new maps—simply type in a postal code to check the surface-water flood risk in that area. You can find the maps at www.environment-agency.gov.uk.

The maps help bolster the previous flood mapping system, which only included river and sea flood risks.

The new maps are a welcome tool for people and businesses that were not previously served by the flood maps, as well as being an additional resource for those vulnerable to floods from the river or sea.

Bolster Your Business with Trade Credit Insurance

The risk of debtor insolvency is an inherent part of owning a business. Sometimes your customers do not pay you—this can be unavoidable, especially in today’s financial climate. Because the devastating effects of the global financial crisis continue to reverberate in both foreign and domestic markets, businesses are searching for ways to provide assurance and stave off insecurity.

Trade credit insurance, or credit insurance, provides your business with protection against customers’ failure to pay their debts and substantial delays in receiving customer payments. Not receiving key customers’ payments on time—or at all—could be fatal for your business, but trade credit insurance helps transfer that risk. Policies typically cover about 90 per cent of customers’ outstanding debts, so the failure of one large customer or multiple small ones will not overwhelm your organisation.

As globalisation continues to lengthen businesses’ supply chains and expand their customer bases beyond national borders, debtors and creditors grow further apart. This makes it easier to lose track of your customers and presents more obstacles for their payments, such as government restrictions or political instability abroad.

Europe remains the United Kingdom’s biggest export market, but Asia, the Middle East, Eurasia and North America also represent substantial export markets. Entering new markets or solidifying your relationship with existing ones is difficult, but trade credit insurance helps alleviate the pressure on your business when dealing with a new customer.

Dealing with new customers in a new market is a huge risk—and one that could cripple your organisation. Some countries do not have transparency laws that allow exporters to access data on their customers’ performance. This means that even if you penetrate a foreign market, if the country has no transparency laws, you could be unaware of your customers’ financial situations, therefore creating additional risks.

Without the added protection of trade credit insurance, you risk stunting your own growth. Do not hinder your business—take the necessary risks and plan for growth with the support of a trade credit insurance policy. Let Bluefin provide the framework for your business’ success.

By supplying more comprehensive surface-water data, the EA hopes to prevent Lead Local Flood Authorities (LLFA) from getting blindsided with unforeseen surface-water flood risks.

LLFAs are responsible for developing, maintaining and applying a strategy for local flood risk management in their areas. As a result, many LLFAs have commissioned local flood mapping, but significant gaps exist between perceived and actual flood risks.

The new surface-water flood maps will help plug these gaps and complement LLFAs’ existing maps. The new maps also contain any compatible data from LLFAs to provide a more comprehensive, standardised and accessible overview of flood risks.

The EA made many improvements to the existing maps, including more accurate digital terrain models, better representations of buildings and their role in diverting water, more in-depth drainage and infiltration modelling, more details on local rainfall profiles and better predictions of floodwater depth and velocity.

Rely on the new EA maps and Bluefin to help your business evade a flooding disaster.