While an insurer’s record on sustainability is considered to be a factor for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the UK, it is outweighed by many other issues for them when choosing a policy, according to analytics company GlobalData.

The GlobalData 2022 UK SME Insurance Survey reveals that the cost of the policy is the most important factor for UK SMEs, followed by the reputation of the provider and transparency about pricing.

Other important factors include claims being paid in full and promptly, an ability to tailor a policy around specific needs, easy access and understanding of policy information, an established brand name and a previous relationship with the company.

The survey also finds that an insurer’s record on sustainability issues is among the least important factors when it comes to choosing an insurance policy.

“Rising inflation – at a time when many businesses are still recovering from the Covid-19 pandemic – could push the importance of sustainability further down, with financial factors becoming even more essential for small businesses,” explains GlobalData.

More specifically, the survey reveals that the percentage of SMEs that ranked sustainability in the top three most important factors decreased by 1.8 percentage points in the 2022 report when compared with 2021.

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Despite an insurer’s record on sustainability being one of the least important factors when it comes to choosing a policy, the survey finds that UK SMEs do consider sustainability to be of some importance.

When the SMEs were asked to rank the importance of sustainability between one and five, with one being not at all important and five being very important, data revealed that 65.3% of SMEs ranked it as either four or five. However, this is down from 67.6% the year before.

“Overall, it is clear that sustainability remains a key issue for businesses," Ben Carey-Evans, senior insurance analyst at GlobalData, said in a press release. "Even though this has not yet translated into it being a key factor when choosing policies, it is something insurers need to be increasingly aware of."