ALMOST a quarter of small firms in the UK have been the victims of business crime in the past two years, figures revealed today.
The study of small business owners and sole traders revealed the average insurance claim resulting from a crime against their business was £2,500.
The survey by insurance provider Direct Line For Business showed that vehicle break-ins and thefts from the workplace were the most frequent crimes reported by small businesses – with more than one in 20 falling victim to such incidents.
Business owners also reported problems with fraudulent non-payment of bills, property damage, damage to tools and assault.
About 360,000 crimes – or one third of the total crimes against business – resulted in the company having to make an insurance claim amounting on average to £2,500, making the bill to insurers approximately £833m.
Jazz Gakhal, head of Direct Line for Business, said: “It’s alarming to see that as much as a quarter of small businesses have recently been affected by crime, though unfortunately this is always likely to increase in an economic downturn. Research demonstrates the importance of sufficient protection of the business as claims typically average £2,500.”