Posted on 17th March 2016
Stealth tax should prompt rethink on business insurance
Businesses should examine their insurance policies carefully in the light of higher Insurance Premium Tax (IPT) announced in the Budget, Burgess Hill brokers Bennett Christmas said today.
On Wednesday, the Chancellor said the levy charged on most commercial and household policies would go up by 0.5% to 10%.
The tax hike follows a 3.5 percentage point rise in the IPT last year.
“But that’s unlikely to be the end of it,” said Mark Bennett, CEO of Bennett Christmas Insurance Brokers. “The IPT has already gone up once in the past six months and while this increase is less than was widely anticipated, the direction of travel is clear.
“Our concern is that small businesses will look to cut costs by reducing their cover and increasing their exposure when what they should be doing is looking at where the biggest risks are in the business and prioritising what they need.
“Most packaged insurance policies include the ‘must-haves’ but they also lump in some of the ‘can-do-withouts’. By looking carefully at the business, a good broker can build a bespoke policy that’s often better than what you had and costs you less.
“For example, many policies include cover for goods in transit but they don’t include cyber insurance. You may only carry a couple of thousand pounds worth of goods in a van, but your company’s cyber exposure could stop your business altogether if your computer network is infected and this is likely to cost a lot more; I think I know which I would choose to include in my policy.”
"As the local hospice for the area, it’s great that we receive so much support from the BHBPA. Last year the members raised an amazing £2150 through activities such as Bake Off and the BHBiz Awards. Each well planned members meeting enables good networking opportunities and speakers that are relevant to the present climate and local issues. We are proud to be members of BHBPA."
"“I have belonged to this group since I started my own business, Lea Graham Associates, in 1986. The association has been through several incarnations since then, but its most recent one, BHBPA, is by far the best.
It’s much more than just a networking group, although it is supremely good at that too. BHBPA is inclusive and friendly and acts like a mutual-support society. The events are stimulating, worthwhile and often great fun and I believe most members share this opinion.”"
"I am delighted to have a long-standing relationship with the BHBPA. Since its foundation the Association has gone from strength to strength and there is no doubt that it has brought huge benefits to its members and the business community as a whole through the partnerships it has formed with the local authorities, Sussex Police and local organisations. It is paramount that Burgess Hill businesses have an effective collective voice."
"This association was started with a lot of effort from a few local businessmen and has proved to be a very powerful and useful tool for our business. The BHBPA has influence at the top level; when action is needed, the BHBPA gets it done. We are kept in touch with all that is happening on our doorstep and will often act because of what is published in the weekly emails / newsletters."