‘Businesses need proper protection insurance’

TWO of Northern Ireland’s largest financial services brands have urged businesses in the Coleraine area to avoid cutting corners and ensure that they are fully protected against possible challenges that may arise as a result of the current tough economic times.

The message from Northern Bank and Hughes Insurance – who recently announced their partnership – comes on the back of alarming research on commercial insurance published by the British Insurance Brokers’ Association, showing that two thirds (67%) of broker respondents have seen commercial customers reduce their levels of insurance protection during the economic downturn.

The research indicates that the removal of what is seen to be ‘non-essential’ commercial insurance cover such as business interruption, legal expenses, theft, accidental damage, personal accident and travel by businesses has become increasingly common. Other businesses, meanwhile, are opting to reduce sums insured and increase excesses in a bid to reduce premiums.

However Graham Lapsley, Head of Northern Bank Coleraine’s Business Centre said: “The current economic climate means that being well insured is more important than ever.

“While it is understandable that businesses are reviewing their finances in a bid to remain as efficient as possible, it simply does not make sense for them to put their customers, their employees and themselves at risk by not being adequately insured as a result of reducing their cover. I would strongly urge all businesses against this.”

David Harrison, Hughes Insurance Business Development Executive echoed this, saying: “By cutting corners and reducing their insurance coverage, businesses are leaving themselves exposed to great risk.

“Amid the ongoing challenges faced by local businesses as a result of the recession, it is essential that companies have the correct protection in place and, with the right advice from an insurance broker, these are available at competitive and affordable prices.”

Hughes Insurance recently partnered with Northern Bank as the official insurance provider to its corporate and personal banking customers, bringing all their financial needs into one local team.

Graham Lapsley continued: “Our relationship with Hughes Insurance will combine the expertise and strength of two local financial services brands, both responsive to local needs, to offer real benefit to our customers in the Coleraine area by making it more straightforward for them to protect their personal and business assets.”