Misleading web form, cancelled policy with on 15 days left

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Guest's review of Simply Business www.simplybusiness.co.uk

★☆☆☆☆

“Misleading web form, cancelled policy with on 15 days...”

Written on: 23/10/2021

We have never made a claim on insurance or had any insurance issues previously. Took out Professional Indemnity Insurance (PII) with Simply Business. Went through web form, selected Simply Businesses job title of “Tax Consultant” which best suited our business of being exactly that…Tax Consultants. Premium appeared to be extremely cheap, a third of the price of others, clarified some information with insurers before proceeding, ensured the essential and requested retro active cover in place, couldn’t see a reason why not. DO NOT TAKE OUT INSURANCE WITH THIS COMPANY. 10 1/2 months into the policy year, we were considering restructuring our business and only in connection with that, we sought some information from Simply Business regarding the PII in place. Told by the advisor that we did not have retro active cover as advised when taking out the policy and that he would need to go away and check on this and what could be done. He called back 2 days later, stated we did actually have retro active cover as standard on this policy but said he wanted more details about what we actually did as tax advisors as this term “covers a broad range of activities”. The advisor was given a full explanation of what what we do, as tax advisors, which is advise on tax matters, he went away, had a quick chat with someone, came back and said it would need to go to the underwriters - to see if they would insure us - over 10 1/2 months into the policy year!! After a further 2 days of waiting to hear if we had this essential cover, we received a call nearing close of business on a Friday afternoon telling us the underwriters were not prepared to cover us after all and would be cancelling our cover in 1 month’s time - 15 days before the end of our policy year. This did not make sense to cover a business for 11.5
months but not for the remaining 15 days. When asked, we were told that the underwriters did not cover our trading activities (which are standard tax advice, U.K. based, not tax planning or tax avoidance or anything giving rise to concerns) and a letter would be “coming out” to us explaining this, as of writing this has not arrived. The effect of an insurer cancelling insurance is pretty much catastrophic on a business as other insurers will not or are reluctant to deal with a business for which insurance is cancelled / refused / declined. As professionals, naturally we are unwilling to trade without PII. The effect of this could well be that Simply Business has destroyed our business and our ability to trade through no fault of our own. It borders on a spiteful act to cancel a policy in full knowledge of all the consequences that go with that for our very small business - and why do this with only 15 days to run until the policy ends? If Simply Business had any real concerns they would have cancelled with immediate effect, not in a month, with 15 days to go on the policy. At no point on their web form does Simply Business have a sub category to further expand upon the description of a tax advisor and at no point during telephone contact prior to taking out the policy was the role description of tax advisor further explored by Simply Business as being an issue. Very poor indeed, very disappointing and very unprofessional of Simply Business who want to be seen as championing small businesses. Extremely worrying for other business allegedly “covered” by Simply Business too - as in all probability, you are not if your role description does not fit with the underwriters, on that particular day. So if you want insurers who destroy your business, shop with Simply Business, they’ll have no trouble doing that for you.

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