Travelers – In Challenging Times, Give SME Clients a Life Raft
Tue Oct 3 2023
03rd October 2023
Even when times are good, cash flow is a struggle for small- to medium-size businesses (SMEs). So right now, as we face continued high costs for energy, transport, general operations and more, business owners are feeling extra strain. According to Enterprise Nation’s latest quarterly Small Business Barometer, 88% of Irish small businesses say they are being impacted by rising costs and 46% believe their profitability will take a hit due to cost pressures.
The culture of late payments in Ireland doesn’t help. Research from the commercial finance firm Close Brothers found that 73% of SMEs said late payments made it more difficult to manage their cash flows. Some SMEs have had to write off as much as 50% of turnover when customers failed to pay the money they owed. These challenges have an outsize impact on the Irish economy, considering SMEs represent 99.8% of all active enterprises in Ireland.
Fortunately, there is help for businesses needing to preserve cash flow or get back on their feet.
“SMEs are facing a lot of uncertainty, but they can access resources to help ease the burden,” said Jonathan Forster, SME Distribution Director at Travelers Europe. “Travelers wants to be part of the solution and has made a commitment to serving the SME space with not only a growing suite of products in areas we truly understand, but also through valuable added benefits that are free to the end customer.”
Benefits can save a business
The SME product offering from Travelers includes Cyber, Property Owners, Marine Cargo, Office, Management Liability and Professional Indemnity Combined insurance – and the roster of benefits supporting these products has been growing.
The Travelers SME Office cover, for example, is one of the most comprehensive eTrade Office products in the Irish market. It includes full theft cover for contents during office hours as standard, as well as cover for equipment kept at directors’ and employees’ homes – a benefit designed to support the requirements of flexible working.
Travelers is also a leading insurer of the legal sector which is reflected in our package of enhanced SME Office covers designed specifically for these customers. It includes such standard protections as the reinstatement of irreplaceable and essential documents, as well as the cost of a legal indemnity policy in the event of damage to documents related to property transactions; business interruption cover based on billable hours rather than the standard loss of income; and cover for valuables held in trust. Optional protections include emergency cover for residential buildings where a solicitor is appointed as trustee, legal guardian or executor at short notice; as well as contingency cover to protect property during conveyance.
Expertise for mitigating everyday challenges
Business owners will frequently face challenges that require them to consult expert support in the moment. Cyberattacks, for instance, are becoming more sophisticated and more common: Research from the Institute of Directors in Ireland found that 41% of organisations had experienced a cyberattack. According to a PwC survey, Irish executives reported an increase in cyberattacks since 2020 as a result of increased digital adoption in their organisations.
Despite these risks, cash flow problems may tempt SMEs to cut corners on cybersecurity. Research from the IT service provider Typetec found that the average cybersecurity budget for Irish SMEs would likely drop by 50% this year. Businesses without access to in-the-moment support following a cyber event are sure to waste valuable time seeking help and spend many thousands of euros per hour to hire a cybersecurity consultant to minimise damage.
Thankfully, Travelers Cyber policyholders have support that makes it unnecessary to contemplate such an expense at a time when every minute counts. In addition to pre-breach services from HCL Technologies and resources to help reduce the risk of a cyberattack, clients can access critical post-breach support. They can consult a cyber breach coach from Pinsent Masons, DAC Beachcroft and Kennedys for incident response – seven days a week, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year – all included as standard with their cover, with no additional charge.
Beyond Cyber, Travelers offers Office policyholders support via free HR and accounting helplines. Through the Travelers Management Liability package offering, customers can get an hour of free legal advice from Kennedys law firm about any matter relating to their policy. Customers can make an unlimited number of calls – each one just can’t exceed one hour.
In these times, more businesses are managing concerns ranging from Directors & Officers claims to Employment Practices Liability issues, which can drain an SME’s time and cash flow. Access to support is valuable to have in the moment, whether a business is facing an uptick in claims in the current environment, or it simply wants to minimise distraction and time spent away from the task of running a business each day. The support ensures that for businesses that struggle with cash flow, any money leaving the business is well spent.
“Like everything else, the cost of insurance is going up,” Forster said. “So it’s important for SMEs to ask, ‘What am I receiving in return?’ Travelers’ product offering includes these valuable benefits, and these cover enhancements can relieve so many burdens. Indeed, they could potentially even save your client’s business.”
Jonathan Forster is SME Distribution Director at Travelers Europe. To find out more about Travelers’ range of SME insurance solutions, visit https://www.travelers.ie/services/sme-insurance.
The information provided in this document is for general information purposes only. It does not constitute
legal or professional advice nor a recommendation to any individual or business of any product or service.
Insurance coverage is governed by the actual terms and conditions of insurance as set out in the policy
documentation and not by any of the information in this document.
Travelers Insurance Designated Activity Company
Travelers Insurance DAC is regulated and authorised by the Central Bank of Ireland
Registered Office: Third Floor, Block 8, Harcourt Centre, Charlotte Way, Dublin 2, Ireland