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Global Digital Small Business Insurance Survey

This time it’s personal

Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs) are the backbone of every economy. They account for 99% of all firms, 70% of employment, and between 50% and 60% of value-added in the OECD. They are also one of the most dynamic sectors of the economy, with 97,000 new SMEs formed each year in the UK alone.

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Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs) underpin the economy in almost every developed and developing nation. Companies with fewer than 250 employees account for 99% of all firms in the OECD nations, generating between 50% and 60% of value-added and accounting for 70% of jobs on average.

SMEs are an essential market for the insurance industry, worth about €10 billion in annual gross written premiums in Germany and the UK each, and growth in the UK of 12% a year. Yet SMEs struggle to find the right product at the right price when their needs can be as complex as those of larger companies. For insurers, this particular segment is equally challenging to serve: SMEs demand personalized attention, but at a premium that doesn’t support this level of service.

Digital services could be the answer. At present, selling insurance to SMEs through digital channels is not straightforward. Many of the products they need are complex; products need tailoring to specific businesses, and SMEs want personalized advice before buying.

Nevertheless, a number of specialized online services have emerged, including comparison platforms such as Simplybusiness (UK) or Gewerbeversicherung24 (Germany). Is this a sign that SMEs are ready to embrace digital insurance services? We wanted to find out.