Risk report links claims experience, satisfaction

Survey gauges small business owners’ insurance feelings on exposure

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A recently released study has found that there is a direct correlation between small business owners’ views and confidence in their insurance coverage based on past claims experience and satisfaction.

The 2019 Small Business Risk Report was conducted by Forbes Insights and property and casualty insurer The Hanover Insurance Group Inc. It surveyed small business owners across the country who had experienced a claim in the last five years to evaluate their claims experiences.

The study also sought small business owners’ perspectives regarding future vulnerabilities, and the value they place on risk management services.

According to the 2019 Small Business Risk Report, 36% of respondents were unhappy with how their insurance claims were handled by their carriers. The study found these claims experiences affected these small business owners’ satisfaction, resulting in less confidence in their insurance program as well as their views on likelihood for future insurance claims.

By contrast, 94% of small business owners who experienced a claim in the last five years and were highly satisfied with the result expressed overwhelming confidence in their overall insurance program.

Other key highlights from the study include:

• Cybersecurity continues to be a growing concern for small business owners. While only 18% of small business owners reported facing a data breach incident in the past five years, 67% report they are becoming more vulnerable to cyber and data breach claims as they digitize their businesses.

• 52% of respondents believe it is likely that their businesses will have a claim in the next five years, with property damage, employee injuries and auto accidents rounding out the top three claims concerns. The type of business insurance claims a small business owner anticipates for the future directly mirrors their prior claims experience.

• The top three aspects of the business insurance claims experience that drive satisfaction for small business owners are fair payment of a claim, quick response and processing time, and knowledgeable claims professionals.

• While small business owners acknowledge the value of risk management services, approximately one-third of small businesses who work with independent agents reported they were not offered risk management services or were not aware of them.

The study findings suggest an opportunity for independent agents to consistently offer risk management services
to help small business owners protect their business operations and get the most benefit from their insurance programs, said Michael R. Keane of The Hanover.

“It is critical for us to understand the evolving risks and exposures for business owners so that, together with our agent partners, we can provide the most comprehensive insurance solutions to meet their needs,” he said.

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