Page 2: Insurance and the UK economy
All businesses are exposed to risks in their day to day operations. Without insurance cover to provide protection against some of these risks, businesses would find it difficult to operate efficiently and profitably. Therefore, insurance is a vital part of most developed economies. Insurance and pension funds account for 1.4%* of the UK's total Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Insurance also accounts for £3.8 billion* of export sales.
Businesses sometimes insure tangible assets like fleets of cars, machines and buildings, in the same way as homeowners insure their houses and contents such as televisions, videos, etc. Businesses can also insure against losses arising from certain events. For example:
- Commercial Combined Insurance - This covers physical damage to premises and to equipment, stock etc. as well as goods in transit, business interruption, employers' liability and public/product liability.
- Professional Indemnity Insurance - This covers professionals such as accountants and solicitors, for liabilities that might arise from the advice they give or the recommendations they make in their professional capacity. Business Interruption Insurance - This type of insurance provides cover for some of the reduction in profit that could arise from a decrease in trade, or the increased cost of working, which might result from an interruption in business arising from an 'insured event'. For example, the events of September 11 meant that many businesses were unable to trade, resulting in a loss of customers and revenue. Business interruption insurance provided many of the affected businesses with cover for some of the reduction in income experienced during the period of disruption.
- Employers' Liability Insurance - Employers' liability insurance is a legal requirement for employers in the UK. The insurance is designed to meet claims by employees for bodily injury, illness or disease suffered while carrying out their duties of employment.
*International Finance Services London - International Financial Markets in the UK (page 10), May 2003