One quarter of British SMEs never read their full insurance policy

27th February 2015

New research for the British Insurance Brokers’ Association (BIBA), found that leaders of British small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) do not always read their insurance documents, with over one quarter (29%) admitting that they never read the entire policy. This is slightly higher for SMEs based outside of London and the South East, where 32% never read their entire insurance policy.

The poll, carried out by the insurance broker body and conducted by Populus, also found females are more likely (30%) to always read their full insurance policy, than males (16%). The research also demonstrated that less than one in five (19%) always read their entire insurance policy and under half (47%) always read the full insurance policy summary, compared to 8% who never do.

This is not just the case for insurance documentation either. Of those surveyed, just over one quarter (26%) of SME leaders always read their bank account terms and conditions, followed by 23% who read their hire car contract. One out of ten always read their event ticket terms and conditions (11%) and software terms and conditions (10%).

Steve White, Chief Executive of BIBA commented on the research saying: “As SMEs are the backbone of the British economy, it is essential that their leaders are fully aware of the insurance cover that their business has and the easiest way to do this is to use an insurance broker. Brokers can help SMEs save time and take the guesswork out of insurance documentation and fully explain the business’ cover.”

Christian Poulsen, Managing Director of Canterbury-based insurance brokers, E.C. Parker & Co Ltd said: “As insurance brokers, it is our job to read the fine print and find the best insurance cover for our clients. This does not mean, however that SME leaders are off the hook when it comes to reading their insurance documentation. We always encourage business leaders to be fully aware of these documents.”

Customers looking for suitable insurance can use BIBA’s Find a Broker service either on 0870 950 1790 or at


Notes to editors

1. For further information please contact:

BIBA press office:
Leighann Forsyth, Head of Communications
020 7397 0223

Hanover Communications:

0207 400 4480

2. About British Insurance Brokers' Association

The British Insurance Brokers' Association (BIBA) is the UK's leading general insurance intermediary organisation representing the interests of insurance brokers, intermediaries and their customers.

BIBA membership includes just under 2,000 regulated firms having merged with the Institute of Insurance Brokers (IIB) in November 2011.

General insurance brokers contribute 1% of GDP to the UK economy and BIBA brokers employ more than 100,000 staff.

54% of all general insurance is sold by an insurance broker and they arrange 79% of all commercial insurance business.

Insurance brokers put the client’s interests first, providing advice, access to suitable insurance protection and risk management.

BIBA helps more than 400,000 people a year to access insurance protection through its Find a Broker service, both online and via the telephone.

BIBA is the voice of the industry advising members, the regulators, consumer bodies and other stakeholders on key insurance issues.   


3. Methodology

Populus interviewed 500 directors, senior managers and owners of British businesses with between 10 and 249 employees online between 5 and 8 February 2015.

Populus is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules. For more information see