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Cover Magazine - Business protection: Taking a joined-up approach to SMEs and people

By Colin Fitzgerald

Why a focus on business first, people second might be the best SME door opener, writes Colin Fitzgerald.

People risk might be top of the global CEO agenda right now, but business risk could represent a stronger starting point for UK SMEs: their very survival might even depend upon it.

The health, happiness and motivation of employees is a leadership priority. That's a fact. But for SMEs, many of whom are struggling to remain afloat right now, taking out a group income protection (IP) plan is probably the last thing on their minds, even if it could bring numerous advantages to both their business and their employees in terms of proactive wellbeing and financial peace of mind (it might even save the company money - more on which later).

Another fact: more businesses protect themselves than protect their people, but in both cases the number actually covered is woefully low. So, prioritising business protection could pave the way for a fuller conversation on people later. Right now, revenues are declining and the potential for loan defaults is very real. In short, SME wellbeing depends on holistic advice and support.

Only two in 10 (20%) business owners have insurance in place as security for debt.In comparison, only around 1 in 10 (11%) of the workforce is covered by group IP.2

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