A warning to businesses of the possible costly pitfalls of buying insurance online.

JM Glendinning MD Neil Forrest is speaking out after seeing an increase in customers coming to them following rejected insurance claims. This, he says is largely down to the limitations of buying insurance online and a desire from businesses to save time and money:

“Around 30% of businesses who come to us have previously bought policies online and risk falling foul of these limitations,” he says. “Often, they are small businesses who can ill afford to get it wrong. Buying insurance online can certainly be quick and convenient but, if you haven’t done it before or don’t fully understand the implications of choosing one type of cover over another, you end up risking financial loss in the event of a claim – something we’re seeing happen more and more often.”

Neil cites two recent examples where businesses have fallen foul of buying insurance online and inadequate cover has resulted in costly losses:

“One was a start-up business whose owner had purchased public liability insurance online. After an incident in which one child caused injury to another during a class, which resulted in legal action, the business owner discovered they weren’t covered. What they didn’t realise was that it’s relatively straightforward to get a policy extension to include this specific type of cover, and what’s more it’s something brokers can often secure free of charge.

“In another recent case, a cleaning company bought public liability insurance online but discovered the policy wouldn’t pay out when they tried to make a claim and they had to cover the cost. Again, a standard online policy had an exclusion – which is so often the case – that meant they weren’t covered. An insurance specialist would have highlighted this at the outset and been able to help them secure the right cover.

“It’s important for businesses to understand that seeking the right advice to make sure you get the right insurance cover doesn’t necessarily cost you more, but it certainly reduces the chances of costly financial losses further down the line. Is it worth taking the risk?”

JM Glendinning North East specialises in helping businesses throughout the UK with insurance requirements that don’t fit the ‘tick box’ criteria of standard insurance policy applications.