By: 9 December 2020
GlobalData: Covid-19 causes SME motor cancellations

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the UK are largely cancelling motor insurance policies because of the Covid-19 pandemic, GlobalData has found.

GlobalData’s 2020 UK SME Insurance Survey shows that out of the 20 products that medium-sized businesses were asked about, the six most cancelled types of policy this year because of Covid-19 were all vehicle-based. The highest proportion was for single van insurance, which saw 14.7% of policies cancelled for this reason.

While other commercial lines saw more cancellations for this reason for SMEs overall, the medium-size category is particularly relevant as it is where the biggest contracts are. As a result, providers of these products would have seen significant losses in 2020, according to GlobalData.

GlobalData - Covid-19 causes SME motor insurance cancellations 2

Ben Carey-Evans, insurance analyst at GlobalData, notes that many of these cancellations may have been temporary rather than permanent as “businesses were unable to travel, and delivery fleets were more difficult during a year of lockdown and restrictions”.

Carey-Evans continues: “Of course, online shopping has surged, and many delivery-type businesses are significantly up, so these insurers who have lost this high level of business may also have picked up new customers or upsold contracts.”

“It also means commercial motor insurers will need to be proactive in winning back customers next year as normality slowly returns. It also presents an opportunity to insurers to win business, as there will be a significant proportion of the market looking for new insurers.”

“With SMEs’ budgets squeezed, the key is likely to be in the value proposition of policies, but much can be said for offering flexibility as well, as uncertainty over future lockdowns and continuing restrictions remains.”