As you read this blog, I’m guessing that the majority of you will be sat at home, possibly in pyjamas, perhaps contemplating the next round of home schooling, pondering the next episode of your Netflix series or just counting down the clock until you feel you can legitimately have a drink! If this had been suggested to you this time last year I think you would have considered the author mad but this is now a reality for all of us.
The last twelve months have been tough for everyone. For some it has been beyond tough and unfortunately we have suffered over 100,000 Covid-19 deaths, not forgetting the thousands of non-Covid deaths that have been caused indirectly by the virus. The progress of the vaccine roll-out gives us a light at the end of the tunnel and businesses will be turning their attention to a post-Covid world.
It is likely that we will never fully return to the business footprint of March 2020. Working from home has been a huge benefit for many. The ability to blend work and home has improved the work life balance and in some cases improved productivity. Meetings are often conducted more efficiently and we have seen the numbers of journeys reduce considerably and this is interesting as the amount of motor insurance claims have also reduced significantly. In the summer of 2020 we were expecting all insurance premiums to rise but one of the unintended outcomes of Covid-19 has been a downward pressure on motor insurance premiums, which is fantastic news for all of us. But this is one bright spot in a very turbulent marketplace. It is fair to say that in over thirty years we have never seen an Insurance market that is so unpredictable.
For example, for those businesses who buy Professional Indemnity Insurance, the immediate future looks bleak. Premiums have risen over the last two years and we are expecting further increases. In addition to this, the availability of cover has become so restricted that for some the insurance they have previously benefitted from may not actually be available. This is the exact opposite of the motor insurance market.
In addition to the pricing complexities there are also new risk dynamics. Employees now work from home. What are the health & safety implications? What about the I.T equipment? How secure are our networks? What are the employment law implications?
What about the office space? It is possible that many businesses will seek to save money by utilising home working rather than renting offices. We are starting to see this trend emerge and that means that office buildings may become unoccupied. Not only will landlords lose their yield but the insurance implications are considerable. Did I mention Brexit!?
Hopefully, things will start to get better as we approach Spring but the risks businesses face will be subtly different and require careful consideration. At ProAktive we pride ourselves on our transparency and practical solutions for often complex problems and we will be here to help in the months and years to come.
By Andy Morley – Group Managing Director