Worried retailers look to shore up insurance following riots

Simply Business sees retail quotes double as businesses respond to riots

Simply Business, the UK’s largest business insurance broker, saw a 100 per cent rise in quote requests from independent retail and catering businesses last week following the riots that took place across the country. The figures suggest that many businesses were compelled to renew or increase their level of cover having seen the devastation and disruption that affected similar companies during the unrest.

Between Monday 8th and Sunday 14th August, Simply Business provided more than double the average number of quotes for the time of year. Requests from retailers began to rise on Monday before peaking on Tuesday, when the company provided almost four times the daily average of retail quotes and the highest number ever quoted by Simply Business in one day.

The riots, which began in Tottenham on Saturday 6th August, then spread across London and other cities including Birmingham and Manchester. The quote requests received by Simply Business reflect the areas where the trouble hit, with a 298 per cent week-on-week rise seen in London, a 137 per cent rise in the West Midlands and an 86 per cent rise in the North West.

The largest increase in quotes was seen amongst off licenses, with a 2,800 per cent week-on-week rise, followed by mobile phone outlets and grocers with a 1,400 per cent increase and sports shops, which saw a 900 per cent rise in quotes.

The Association of British Insurers estimated the overall cost of the riot damage to be “well over” £100m, while The British Retail Consortium said it expected it to cost retailers “at the very least tens of millions of pounds”. While insurers have advised that they will be paying out for the damage caused and the Government has set up a number of recovery funds, these new figures suggest that the riots have prompted many retailers to consider their own vulnerability to similar unforeseen events.

Jason Stockwood, CEO of Simply Business, commented: “While insurance may seem like an unnecessary expense, it can make or break a business if their premises or stock is damaged or destroyed by events outside their control. The typical independent high street store we see has, on average, £13,932 worth of stock and £19,818 worth of contents, fixtures and fitting at any given time. As well as covering the costs of replenishing stock and repairing property, insurance policies can offer help and advice in securing buildings that have been broken into or damaged.

“I have personally spoken with a number of our customers who were directly affected by last week’s events. It is clear from their individual stories that the riots have been personally devastating, and that they have also had a major impact on the lives of their families, customers and employees. Their stories are all different, but what unites them is a determined focus to get back up and running as quickly as possible and this is where the right insurance can make a real difference. If business owners are concerned about what their insurance policy covers, they should contact their insurance broker for advice.”

For further information, please contact:

Sophie Howard
020 7009 3128

About Simply Business

Simply Business is the UK’s biggest business insurance provider, specialising in public liability insurance for SMEs and landlord insurance.

Launched in 2005, Simply Business provides an online brokerage service delivering policies tailored to individual business requirements. It has a team of UK based insurance specialists and employs almost 300 people across offices in London and Northampton.

Simply Business provides insurance to more than 400,000 UK SMEs and landlords and owing to its internal underwriting capability can cover over 1,000 trade types. It has been a Sunday Times Tech Track 100 company for the past three years and was recently named in the Deloitte Technology Fast 500 EMEA. Revenues have grown from £4.2 million in 2006, to £25.4 million in 2014, and the company has been named 2015 and 2016 winners of The Sunday Times’ Best Company to Work For.