Businesses who have diversified to transfer their operations online as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic will find it’s a very different world.

That’s the message from Anthony Hughes, who said that companies may well be facing a completely new kind of challenge when the pandemic is over.

“High street sales are forecasted to have fallen by more than 70 per cent during lockdown, and it’s clear that many retailers may not return to a physical presence once the new ‘normal’ materialises.

“With trends such as hyper-local shopping more prominent, and with many more people – especially the older generation – more confident about shopping online, many retailers are now planning a move to an online sales model. This sounds like a sensible approach, but reviewing insurance cover to ensure the right protection is in place to suit your new operation will be critical.”

Anthony said there were three key areas to consider – supply chain, goods in transit and cyber protection – which would all be extremely important.

“Keeping your supply chain flowing typically depends on having cash in your business, which means you need customers to pay on time. Considering Trade Credit insurance, which will ensure invoices are paid when they’re due, can help with non or late-payment pressures.

“Online businesses run a real risk of goods getting damaged, lost or stolen in transit, and anyone operating courier-style deliveries will need good in-transit cover, whether you’re a large haulage and logistics company or a sole operator with just one small vehicle.”

Anthony said newly-created online operations would need to consider the risks of cyber-crime too.

“Cyber crime is on the increase and any kind of data breach that exposes customers’ details can have a major impact, not just financially through plugging the leak and possible GDPR fines or ransom payments either.

“It can also cause reputational damage so think about cyber insurance which will advise on the security measures you need to put in place, and which will offer the specialist IT and crisis support you may need after an attack.

“For any business that’s transitioning to a new way of operating, professional advice can be invaluable while you’re navigating your way through the minefield of complications, so having an early conversation about your insurance needs will be the best possible start.”