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The ABI and the Government launch campaign to help small firms keep their heads above water

The Association of British Insurers has today joined forces with the Government to raise the level of contingency planning among the 4.3 million small to medium-sized businesses in the UK. Many firms are in danger going out of business due to lack of planning for the unexpected. Seven out of 10 small firms would go out of business if they experienced a major emergency in their first year, with over two -thirds* having no contingency plans to deal with an emergency, such as a major flood or fire.

Speaking at a joint ABI, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform and Defra seminar today to launch the ABI's Insurance for Small Businesses Guide, Stephen Haddrill, the ABI's Director General, said:

"Small to medium-sized firms are particularly vulnerable to the unexpected event that could bring them down. We have produced this guide following last summer's floods, when insurers dealt with over 27,000 claims from flooded firms and paid out £1billion to them. During that time it became clear that many firms had inadequate or no plans in place to help them survive a major incident. I urge all firms to plan for the unexpected-doing so will make the difference between survival and going under should the worst happen."

Pat McFadden, Minister of State for the Department for Business, said:

"Small businesses are vital. The millions of people who launch, lead and work for small businesses up and down the country create vital jobs, provide essential services and generate significant wealth for the country. This latest guidance provides vital risk management advice to help ensure our small businesses grow and flourish."

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Notes for Editors

1. Enquiries to:

Alan Leaman 020 7216 7440 (Mobile: 07957 482 330)

Jonathan French 020 7216 7392 (Mobile: 07958 330 480)

Malcolm Tarling 020 7216 7410 (Mobile: 07776 147 667)

Erfan Hussain 020 7216 7411 (Mobile: 07712 841 184)

Kelly Ostler-Coyle 020 7216 7415 (Mobile: 07968 364 302)

Department for Business, Enterprise &Regulatory Reform:

Alexandra Thompson 020 7215 5964

2. *Research carried out by AXA Insurance

3. The ABI's Insurance for Small Businesses: a guide to protecting your

business, will be is available on: www.abi.org.uk/SMEGUIDE. It is being

extensively distributed to small and medium-sized firms through insurers,

local authorities, business groups and the police.

4. The ABI is the trade association for Britain's insurance industry. Its nearly 400 member companies provide over 94% of the insurance business in the UK. It represents insurance companies to the Government, and to the regulatory and other agencies, and is an influential voice on public policy and financial services issues. ABI member companies hold up to a sixth of all investments traded on the London Stock Exchange, on behalf of millions of pensioners and savers.

5. An ISDN line is available for broadcasts.

Copies of all ABI news releases, together with other information from the Association, can be seen on our website http://www.abi.org.uk

Last updated 01/07/2016