The insurance arrangements of any business are always important but - for the SME - the means by which you access the market can be critical. You need a broker and preferably one that is accessible, both in terms of locality and compatibility.
advice not price
From the mid 1980s, the Private Motor insurance market moved inexorably away from brokers and towards direct marketing insurance companies, which is what it had been mostly until the mid 1960s. Whilst the lack of a broker may give rise to pitfalls even in this relatively simple connection, the relationship that pertains with commercial insurance is a complex one.
Is there a website anywhere in the world into which an SME client can venture, discover what range of covers the client may require, recieve quotations from a range of large general and/or small specialist insurers, obtain advice on which ones best suit the client's needs, negotiate with said insurers over the price and carries PI insurance in case the website should inadvertently make a mistake.
Simply, no. Not now, not ever.
What is an SME business?
An SME business can range in size within the definition of SMEs from a sole trader turning over £25,000 per annum up to a substantial business with 250 employees and a turnover less than £40m.
Clearly there is a huge variation between a Micro Business with 10 staff, a Small Business with 50 staff and a Medium Business of 250 staff. Whilst employee numbers and financial quantum may well have some bearing on the complexity of a company's insurance needs; but not always.
And that's why SME need a broker just as much, if not more, that a corporate that may itself be able to afford to employ an insurance professional or even a department to manage their range of insurances.