The new data, which is based on a sample of over 11,000 commercial property insurance policies, showed a 49% drop in insurance quotes for office space throughout the UK, compared with the same data in 2019.
In contrast, the data revealed an increased demand for commercial property insurance in Northern Ireland, up by 23%, with a number of local businesses, showing early signs of what the commercial landscape could look like post-pandemic.
It also highlighted that the most resilient properties were the high street takeaways including fish and chip shops, Indian takeaways and Chinese takeaways. The number of insurance quotes for this type of commercial property increased by 4% in 2020 in the UK.
As the number of vaccinations increase and infection rates continue to go down, the province is starting to see a way out of the pandemic. And while many aspects of lockdown life are likely to return to near-normal as soon as restrictions are lifted, there could be resistance to returning to the office as many workers have experienced the benefits of working from home.
According to data from Statista, 73% of office workers believe that they are more productive when working from home. This is not a surprising figure given the average UK commute was 58 minutes before the pandemic and many workers will be losing more than two hours a day when office spaces do re-open. Although Northern Ireland has the lowest commuting time in the UK at just 46 mins, a fall of 0.2% over the last 10 years – the only region to record a decrease.
Similarly, insurance quotes for B&B’s, guest houses and hostels also increased by 3%, and as the UK settles into its second summer of ‘staycations’, it’s likely that spending the holidays closer to home will become a new staple.
Founder and CEO of CompareNI.com, Greg Wilson said: “The data offers a glimpse into the post-pandemic commercial landscape, and it will almost certainly be different to life before 2020. For one, the data shows a big shift around office culture and continued home working could be a large step towards achieving a more balanced work life in the UK. It is also positive to see some industries growing even in the midst of multiple lockdowns, however, it’s important to remain vigilant with savings.
“According to the recent report, commercial property insurance costs increased by 24% in Q4. If businesses do experience an increase when renewing their policy, it’s important they consider switching providers. Now is a challenging time for most businesses so it’s crucial to avoid unnecessary costs wherever possible.”
CompareNI.com is Northern Ireland’s largest insurance comparison website, helping over 660,000 users compare products from over 80 insurers and recommended by 97% of reviewers.
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