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SMEs forced to ignore Brexit as GDPR and cyber steal the limelight


The UK’s small and medium-sized business are forced to ignore Brexit planning as they have fallen behind on issues such as GDPR compliance and cyber security, finds Zurich.

Almost a quarter (24%) of respondents to Zurich’s latest broker survey said that their SME clients now ask them about GDPR on a regular basis. Whereas, regular enquiries about Brexit were recorded by just one in ten (10%) brokers and over a third (35%) said that their clients never asked about the UK’s exit from the EU at all.

Data from the recent study suggests that a lack of resource to address both immediate and long-term planning could be a problem. Almost half of insurance brokers (43%) have seen a significant increase in enquiries about GDPR cover and compliance since the deadline passed compared with before, indicating a limited understanding of GDPR compliance and cover that is concerning given the regulation has been in force since May 25..

Other immediate issues like financial risk, which include late payments and legal claims, are also taking priority over Brexit, with four in five (80%) brokers reporting clients seeking guidance on these topics. Cyber security cover remained the biggest issue of all, on which almost two in five (37%) insurance brokers reportedly provide regular counsel clients on this.

Paul Tombs, Head of SME Proposition at Zurich, said:

“While Brexit contingency planning seems to be all over the headlines, we are registering very low levels of engagement with the issue among smaller businesses in the UK as less strategically important issues take centre-stage.

“The tumult of the last few years has resulted in a number of major risk areas that UK businesses are clearly struggling to find the time and resources to address. Smaller businesses in particular have been forced to spin a lot of plates, complicating the decision-making process and stretching many businesses to breaking point.”

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