NEW YORK–An expansion of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners’ Insure U into the small business market, announced here today, underscored the need for insurance in that marketplace.
The NAIC started Insure U, a public education program, last year. It initially focused on the consumer at various life stages: young singles, young families, established families and empty nesters.
Walter Bell, Alabama insurance commissioner and NAIC president, said during a meeting here that “protecting consumers is our primary concern.” Toward that end, the program will be introduced to local business groups, state chambers of commerce and other venues, he said.
A survey prepared by NAIC, Kansas City, Mo., in March and a discussion here among state insurance commissioners showed a need for basic health care coverage for small business in their states.
Forty-seven percent of small businesses offer their employees health insurance and 26% offers disability insurance, according to the NAIC survey, based on 501 interviews.
A total of 24% had life insurance and 21% had dental coverage, according to the survey, titled “Business & Employee Insurance Issues Among U.S. Small Businesses.”
Other findings that pointed to the need of small businesses for insurance include the following:
12% of small business owners-managers do not have health insurance coverage themselves.
22% have “key person” life insurance and 15% have “key person” disability insurance, while just 7% had both coverages–even though 71% said that they are “very dependent” on 1 or 2 key people.
55% had dropped health insurance; 18% dropped property & liability insurance; and 12% dropped workers’ compensation insurance to reduce expenses.
Only 59% of businesses with fewer than 20 employees had workers’ compensation insurance.
Only 35% had business interruption insurance.