Non-Payment Biggest Threat to Small Business

Non-Payment Biggest Threat to Small BusinessNew research from insurer Direct Line for Business has revealed that nearly a quarter (24%) of Britain’s 4.5 million small businesses have been victims of crime over the last two years.

The figures also showed that the average insurance claim for such business crimes was around £2,500.

One third of the nearly 1 million crimes committed against business resulted in the victim firms making an insurance claim. At around 360,000 claims that amounted to payouts to small businesses of £833 million, split between Trade Credit Insurers and Business Insurers; employer’s liability insurance, commercial property and commercial vehicle insurance were all claimed against.

Whilst vehicle break-ins and workplace thefts were the most common form of crimes against small businesses, the biggest single threat was from fraudulent non-payments (13%).

Head of Direct Line for Business, Jazz Gakhal, said of the figures:

“It’s alarming to see that as much as a quarter of small businesses have recently been affected by crime, though unfortunately this is always likely to increase in an economic downturn.”

“The research demonstrates the importance of sufficient protection of the business as claims typically average £2,500, and an unexpected bill of this size could put huge pressure on many small business owners.”

The most frequent forms of crime against small business were:


Percentages of small businesses affected by the crime

Non-settlement of bills


Vehicle thefts/ break ins


Work equipment stolen from site premises or home


Internet fraud


Property damage


Damage to tools




Items stolen from person




Gakhal finished by saying:

“Businesses should explore the variety of insurance options available to ensure they have appropriate cover for all sectors of operations.”

Small firms looking to protect their ventures against crime should take a look at our business advice article on business insurance.

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