Allianz reveals biggest threats facing SMEs in 2024


Authored by Allianz

New research by Allianz Commercial has found that inflation continues to be the biggest threat facing small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in 2024.

The recent survey of 500 SMEs revealed the top three threats to businesses are:

  1. inflation and the cost of living (61% said they feel under threat)
  2. state of the UK economy (51% said they feel under threat)
  3. cash flow (31% said they feel under threat).

More than half of SMEs said they feel under threat from the state of the UK economy (51%), an increase of 18% from 33% in the past twelve months. While worries about Brexit have decreased from 25% since last year’s survey* to just 16%, concerns about cashflow have almost doubled from 16%, with respondents now rating it one of the biggest threats (31%). 

75% of SMEs surveyed said that have been negatively impacted by the cost of living crisis, up from 71% in 2023.

Allianz’s research also identified the top business challenges facing SMEs in 2024, with the price of energy topping the list: 

  1. energy bills (37%)
  2. competition (36%)
  3. late payment / unpaid invoices (28%)
  4. supply chain problems (24%)
  5. staff (e.g. hiring, retaining) (24%).


Despite concerns about inflation, in the past year only 19% of small business owners increased their sums insured and just 12% increased their insurance indemnity periods. The survey found that 42% of SMEs which own their premises do not know the rebuild value of their buildings. Of those who had calculated the rebuild value of their property, just over half (51%) had a professional valuation, whereas 39% used market value and 10% self-valued their property.

Alex Ktenidis (pictured), director of digital trading, Allianz Commercial, said:

“SMEs are clearly facing extremely challenging times so it’s understandable that business owners are looking to save where possible. Having the right level of insurance protection is crucial and brokers play a pivotal role in assisting small business owners to fully understand which insurance cover and indemnity levels are needed.”

Demonstrating that SMEs continue to adapt their businesses, the survey found that within the past year 21% had increased the number of products or services offered, 14% had moved from working at a business premises to working from home and 14% had increased the number of employees. Looking ahead, more than half (51%) of respondents said that they see potential for their business using artificial intelligence in the future, while 23% said the same for machine learning.

Ktenidis added:

“We know that SMEs are incredibly agile and many of them adapt their business models to suit the ever-changing environments that they operate in. Working with brokers, we want to provide the best support possible to those customers, so when they make significant changes, we can help make sure this doesn’t lead to gaps in their cover.”


About Allianz

Allianz Insurance is one of the largest general insurers in the UK and part of the Allianz Group,  a leading integrated financial services provider and the largest property and casualty insurer in the world.  

The mission of Allianz Insurance is to be the outstanding competitor in our chosen markets by delivering products and services that our clients recommend, being a great company to work for and achieving the best combination of profit and growth. We aim to achieve this by putting the customer at the heart of everything we do. 

Allianz is able to offer customers a wide range of products and services including home and motor and commercial insurance with full range of products and service for sole traders' right up to large commercial organisations.  

Allianz Insurance employs over 4,500 people across a network of 20 offices in the UK and the company’s Head Office is situated in Guildford, Surrey.  Our heritage and financial strength help make Allianz what it is today; a safe and trusted partner. Over 40 FTSE100 companies partner with Allianz.  youTalk-insurance sharing Allianz Insurance news and video


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