New survey finds small businesses feeling ‘surprisingly’ secure

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From a release from ZenSurance

TORONTO, ONT.: After weathering the COVID-19 pandemic, soaring interest rates and a perceived recession, a new national survey commissioned by Zensurance, Canada’s leading source for small business insurance, and conducted among small business owners who are members of the Angus Reid Forum has uncovered unexpected optimism.
The study by Zensurance was designed to give a pulse check of how confident Canadian small business owners, self-employed professionals, and entrepreneurs are feeling heading into the second half of 2023.
Key Findings of the Survey:
Positively Speaking

All business owners

  • 71% of Canadian small business owners and self-employed professionals are confident their businesses will be successful in the second half of 2023.

Business owners without business insurance (*Based on a sample of n=27)

  • *48% of business owners are so positive that ‘they don’t believe there is a potential for an expensive loss or damage to their business.’*
  • *22% admit that they ‘would not know what to do’ if they had to pay for expensive damages or losses.
  • Only *19% say they have an adequate amount of money saved to cover expenses.
  • *11% say they’d declare bankruptcy.


Isn’t It Ironic?

  • That unbridled confidence stands in stark contrast to 60% of business owners who say the state of the economy has ‘had a negative impact on them’ in the first half of the year.

Inflation Is Deflating Business Owners

  • 89% of Canadian business owners identify inflation as their No. 1 concern, followed by rising interest rates (80%), the need to increase their prices (80%), and the cost of gasoline (78%).

Negatively Speaking

  • *24% of Ontario respondents say the current economic effects on their businesses are significantly negative, as do 12% in British Columbia and 10% in Alberta. 

“Our latest survey results clearly show that Canadian small businesses are grappling with managing their costs in a challenging economy, but it also shows they are optimistic, resilient, forward-looking business owners,” said Danish Yusuf, Founder and CEO of Zensurance. “It’s critical to understand that the financial health and wellness of any business owner’s or self-employed professional’s business is contingent on safeguarding themselves against the myriad of liability risks they face.”


Small Businesses Are Thinking Positively (but Planning for Chaos)

In a surprising juxtaposition, the survey also finds small business owners recognize the value of being proactive in preventing costly accidents. 63% cite ‘mitigating their liability risks’ as a top concern, while only 37% do not.
Ready to Rumble
The top risk mitigation efforts business owners proactively take include having a first-aid kit on hand (83%), routinely conducting necessary maintenance to tools and equipment (79%) and maintenance to their commercial properties (74%).
‘Insuring’ Success
Canadian small business owners were also asked their real views on business insurance. Most respondents said they are insured (87%), while only 13% said they do not have business insurance.


Among those who do not have insurance, we asked why:

  • Most (*48%) say they don’t think they need it.
  • *30% don’t because they have personal home and auto insurance.
  • *19% say they haven’t thought about it or because it costs too much.
  • Another *7% claim it takes too long to get insured; they don’t trust insurance companies or say insurers don’t pay claims.
  • “Some small business owners’ perspectives on why they don’t have a business insurance policy are concerning. No small business or independent professional is immune to the threat of a lawsuit or an expensive accident,” added Yusuf. “They may not be aware of the risks they are taking that could prove to be financially catastrophic to them.
  • “For example, the cost of a lawsuit – even a frivolous one – or an unexpected event like a fire damaging or destroying a business property and all your inventory far exceeds the price of a commercial insurance policy by as much as 200% or more.”


Bonus Business Owner Insights:

  • Most business owners compare rates – 46% say they shop around for insurance annually, 22% do every few years, 8% never do, and 5% do only when their businesses have changed.
  • For business owners who buy insurance, the cost of a policy ranks as the most important factor (28%) when making a purchasing decision, 16% highlight a customized policy to suit their specific needs, and 13% highlight a customized policy to suit their specific needs.
  • Another 12% state protecting their finances and reputation as the top factor, and 9% said getting insured quickly and easily is.
  • Most business owners with insurance (51%) say it is a legal or regulatory requirement for their profession or industry.
  • Another 24% cite an insurance broker’s influence, 21% did so because of advice from a mentor, and 15% say they were encouraged by family, friends, or colleagues.

More details on the new national survey are here.

To support the Canadian small business community, Zensurance is giving away a $10,000 grant to one lucky entrepreneur or small business owner to help them grow their small business or startup.

The application window opens August 14, 2023.