Many businesses in the UK say that COVID-19 and the resulting lockdown has meant they have needed to adapt, and in research carried out in July by Gallagher amongst over 1000 business leaders, over half of all bosses (52%) said that the pandemic has presented new opportunities.
Business Opportunities

Gallagher carried out the research to understand the outlook of British businesses now that the economy is reopening. A third (31%) of executives said they had expanded into new product areas as a result of the pandemic outbreak and the same number (31%) reported feeling positive about the outlook as their product or service is more relevant as a result of COVID-19 and the associated measures taken to control the disease.

The majority of businesses interviewed (82%) said they had been forced to change as a result of the lockdown, with 70% of businesses saying these changes are to become a permanent feature of their business going forward.

Reduced premises were a key saving for many businesses, with thousands of employees told to work from home if they could, many of which will stay working remotely over the long-term. In fact, eight out of ten bosses (80%) interviewed said that they will allow increased home working. One in three (28%) businesses said they are planning to close premises as a result of increased home working and a similar number (29%) said they will reduce spend on premises. The increase in home working is likely to be popular amongst employees who are able to work more flexibly and reduce commuting time and cost.

Businesses leaders are also reporting they have taken the opportunity to streamline their offering (34%) and cut costs (31%) making them more agile for the future. The pandemic has also brought customer loyalty into focus with just over half of all executives (51%) saying that this is more important than ever and two thirds (65%) stating that brand strength is more important post COVID-19.

Kathryn Moon, Sales Director for Gallagher, said; “It’s good to see that many businesses are turning the challenge into an opportunity. Innovation is the lifeblood of business and it’s clear that leaders recognise that to remain successful they need to be agile and open to change. Premises clearly are a major cost to businesses, which many leaders are now reviewing, having seen how productive employees are when working from home. Product innovation is also a major theme with businesses recognising the changes due to COVID-19 are likely to be around for some time yet. It’s important to remember that if your business is changing, undoubtedly your risk management needs will also. It is therefore essential to maintain dialogue with your insurance broker to keep them abreast of changes, to ensure that your insurance remains up to date and your protection remains valid.”

This note is not intended to give legal or financial advice, and, accordingly, it should not be relied upon for such. It should not be regarded as a comprehensive statement of the law and/or market practice in this area. In preparing this note we have relied on information sourced from third parties and we make no claims as to the completeness or accuracy of the information contained herein. It reflects our understanding as 28/07/2020, but you will recognise that matters concerning COVID-19 are fast changing across the world. You should not act upon information in this bulletin nor determine not to act, without first seeking specific legal and/or specialist advice. Our advice to our clients is as an insurance broker and is provided subject to specific terms and conditions, the terms of which take precedence over any representations in this document. No third party to whom this is passed can rely on it. We and our officers, employees or agents shall not be responsible for any loss whatsoever arising from the recipient’s reliance upon any information we provide herein and exclude liability for the content to fullest extent permitted by law. Should you require advice about your specific insurance arrangements or specific claim circumstances, please get in touch with your usual contact at Gallagher. FinProms reference FP1003-2020/280720

All data unless otherwise stated from research conducted by Opinium on behalf of Gallagher, between 26 June and 3 July, amongst 1008 senior decision makers in businesses employing over 250 people.