While insurers’ record in sustainability is important to SMEs, when it comes to choosing insurers, it is the least important factor, according to GlobalData.

GlobalData’s 2021 UK SME Insurance Survey found that SMEs say that sustainability is important to them. We asked respondents to rank its importance between one and five (with five being very important), and 67.6% of SMEs ranked it either four or five (effectively important or very important).

However, later on in the same survey, SMEs were asked to rank a range of factors in terms of their importance when choosing an insurer, and sustainably came last, in 10th place. The chart below shows the proportion of SMEs ranking sustainability in each of the 10 positions.

SMEs sustainbility

Source: GlobalData’s 2021 UK SME Insurance Survey


There was a considerable difference in the proportion (7.3 percentage points) of SMEs who ranked sustainability 10th compared to ninth, which was the single biggest gap between any position. Other factors ranked above sustainability by SMEs included cost of policy, reputation of the insurer, relationship with the insurer, transparency of pricing, and paying claims in full and promptly.

This indicates that while consumers view sustainability as an increasingly important issue and hope the businesses that they work with are proactive about it, it is still not competing with the key reasons for purchasing something. Therefore, insurers may be able to do the bare minimum in sustainability for the time being and retain customers based on price or reputation. However, the fact that it is already an important issue for over two thirds of respondents suggests it will become a more influential factor in insurer selection.