UK insurance provider Hiscox has launched a new product aimed at safeguarding small businesses against a range of crimes including fraudulent activity.
Designed to complement the firm’s other business insurance policies, particularly those covering cybercrime, Hiscox Crime Insurance offers smaller UK firms greater access to more comprehensive business cover.
Business owners will be protected from anything from theft of money, securities and premises, to telephone fraud and reputational damage.
The product will also give small firm decision makers an option to protect themselves against “social engineering”, the fraudulent act of posing as real individuals – such as company directors or managers – to exploit unknowing employees, which Hiscox has claimed is a growing problem amongst small businesses.
The insurer’s new policy will also protect owners from acts such as the misappropriation of business expenses, computer violation, public relations costs and compensation for court attendances.
“The product has been developed to help clients overcome all the impacts a commercial crime loss can cause,” explained Hiscox UK senior development underwriter Bronwen Horn.
“Commercial crimes are often discovered purely by chance, and whilst the financial impact on a business can be devastating, what is often overlooked is the resulting threat to business processes and the reputational impact. These kinds of losses can, over time, dwarf the relatively shorter-term impact of financial loss.”
Recent research has suggested many small UK business owners fail to report crimes in the belief it would not lead to a successful prosecution.
In March, the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) discovered that around a quarter of all small business crimes go unreported, with 46 per cent of owners stating they thought that doing so would not lead to a positive outcome for their firm.
An FSB survey revealed cybercrime to be increasingly prolific, with two-thirds of businesses falling victim to online criminal activity in the last two years. Just under half of small business owners had experienced non-cyber crime in the same period, whereas 53 per cent had experienced both.
“For many organisations, it is a question of when, not if, they will suffer economic crime,” Horn went on to say. “The risks are becoming more complex, and the threat can come from employees, suppliers, customers, agents, hackers and unknown third parties.”
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