More than half of small businesses do not have employers’ liability cover, a survey by AXA Business Insurance has found.
The survey found that, out of the 365 small businesses surveyed, 53% were either unaware of employers’ liability cover or had not taken out an insurance plan.
The research defines small businesses as sole traders to those with less than 9 employees.
The insurance provider also polled 2,000 workers about the effects of work on their health:
- 62% of employees have suffered eye strain due to using workplace computers; more than half said the problems were ‘severe’
- 36% have been hurt by heavy lifting
- 62% said long hours at the desk had caused muscular pains
- 53% have experienced trouble sleeping due to work stress.
The research also highlighted the exposure of small businesses to compensation claims from non-workers. A survey of the public revealed that 48% of people have had property damaged by visiting tradesman or businesses. Despite this, 43% of firms that work on other people’s property or have public visitors are not covered by public liability insurance.
Commenting on the survey findings, Darrell Sansom, managing director at AXA Business Insurance, said businesses were in danger of leaving themselves exposed to the costs of injury claims:
“[businesses] really must understand the importance of employers’ liability cover. Not only are there serious legal consequences if you don’t have it, workplace injury claims can reach eye-watering figures. We’ve had employers’ liability claims that run into the millions of pounds for the most serious injuries – a bill like that simply cannot be shouldered by a small firm.”