Small Firms on Insurance “Tightrope”


Cornish companies are struggling to balance costs and risks

Small companies in the Falmouth, Helston and Lizard areas are being offered extra help checking insurance cover, as the credit crunch, economic slowdown and soaring costs conspire to make evaluating business risks more difficult than ever before.

Truro-based insurer Cornish Mutual, which insures thousands of small and medium-sized rural businesses across the South West, believes fluctuating input prices and tightening economic conditions are presenting many local firms with difficult choices as they attempt to trim budgets without putting their company’s survival at risk.

Cornish Mutual development manager Chris Ridgers explains:

“Smaller companies in particular often have a difficult time telling whether their insurance cover is a realistic reflection of their actual business risks.

“It’s an especially important balance at the moment as there’s so little money around to waste on surplus premiums when, equally, insufficient cover could threaten the entire business in the event of a major mishap.

“These decisions get all the more tricky as fuel, property and other costs are changing very rapidly, meaning businesses need to keep a far closer eye on their insurances than perhaps they are used to.”

To help local businesses weather the economic storm, Cornish Mutual’s Insurance Inspector for Falmouth, Roger Hawkings, is offering to help companies with fewer than six employees carry out insurance health checks, free of charge – whether or not they’re a Cornish Mutual Member.

He says:

“As an independent insurer in Cornwall, we’re keen to support our local business community. I’m very happy to visit any small business, regardless of whether they’re one of our Members, to give advice and generally help them check they’ve got their insurances right.

“I’ve been dealing with growing companies around Falmouth and Helston for many years, and I hope that experience means I can spot risks and areas of wastage that they perhaps might have missed.”

Companies who would like to arrange a visit, or who have questions about insurance, are welcome to contact Roger on 01326 317119. Direct contact details for Cornish Mutual’s other Local Insurance Inspectors can be found at


Notes for editors:

Founded by a group of Westcountry farmers in 1903, Cornish Mutual is the only general insurer based in the South West. Even today, the company is still owned by its Members, and remains at the heart of rural communities throughout Cornwall, Devon, Somerset and Dorset.

Although staying true to its origins in agriculture (around two thirds of Cornwall’s farmers are Members), Cornish Mutual now provides household, commercial, events and personal accident insurance to Members of all descriptions, living or working throughout the South West countryside.