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Britain’s SMEs waste £216 million on business insurance when out of work

  • The average self-employed worker is without work for two months a year and wastes £108.10 a month paying for business insurance
  • A third don’t have the right insurance to protect their business
  • The average SME spends £1,860 fixing issues

The average freelancer and small business owner has over two months (65 days) without work each year but is spending on average £108.10 a month on business insurance when they don’t need it. With 1m self-employed people in the UK who have business liability insurance, that’s an estimated £216.2m* each year being wasted on business insurance that small business owners could be saving to cover those times without work – or using towards other costs.

During the pandemic, these figures were even higher, with the average freelancer being out of work for four and a half months (135 days), if they had been able to pause their business insurance they could have saved themselves £486.45.

The research by Suited.Insure, the freelance, and small business specialist insurance company, found that 79% of small business owners have annual insurance policies, despite not working all year round and 68% said they continue paying for insurance when they aren’t working.

Over half (57%) said they would like the option to pay for their business insurance only when they need it, pausing their payments when they are out of work or on holiday. But this isn’t possible for all as almost a third (32%) said they have had to pay a fee to change, cancel or renew their business liability insurance.

That’s why Jana Kejvalova founded Suited.Insure. Being a freelancer herself and working in the insurance industry, Jana noticed a gap in the market to offer a flexible, affordable solution for contractors and small business owners.

Jana Kejvalova, founder of Suited.Insure said: “We know that working for yourself is so rewarding, but it’s not without its risks; forecasting ahead and planning for sickness, holidays, and finding work can be tough, Covid had a massive impact on the freelance industry and the cost-of-living crisis is causing worry for the future, meaning that those in the gig economy need to ensure that every penny counts.

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“Suited.Insure offers an affordable, flexible plan whereby small business owners pay for their insurance when they need it, ensuring they are protected when they need it, and saving money when they don’t.”

The research of 501 small business owners by Suited.Insure, also found that more than a third (33%) of small business owners don’t have the right insurance to protect their business – 34% claim they don’t need business liability insurance and 23% admit they don’t know what sort of business insurance they need as a self-employed worker. While more than one in five (22%) said they simply can’t afford business insurance.

However, almost a third (32%) of small business owners have admitted that they have previously run into trouble with clients not paying or even suing them, which ended up costing them on average £1,860 to fix the problem.

The research found that small business owners spend on average £394 paying for these services. Almost one in five (19%) of small business owners haven’t sought expert advice as they think they can do it themselves, and a further one in 10 just search for solutions online.

However, of those that haven’t used these consultancy services, more than one in five (22%) have admitted it has had an impact on their business, with 50% saying they have lost clients and 33% having unforeseen tax bills.

Jana Kejvalova continued: “When we work for ourselves saving money wherever possible is so important, but sometimes we put ourselves and our businesses at risk by not seeking external advice. Freelancers and small business owners may not realise they may have free access through their insurance to get the support they need, which could save them thousands of pounds.”

Suited.Insure offers a pay-as-you-go solution, so when business owners are out of work they can pause their policy. It also offers free access to professional advice such as legal advice, tax advice, crisis PR, contracting advice and counseling as part of its insurance package.

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