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UK businesses struggle to be GDPR compliant in time

By Sandra Villanueva
Senior Media Relations Manager

Ahead of the implementation of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) on 25th May 2018, new research for QBE Business Insurance has shown that only slightly more than a quarter (27.6%) of UK businesses feel that they are completely compliant with the new legislation.

The research, undertaken by OnePoll, asked 500 UK businesses about their readiness for the introduction of the GDPR. While 29.2% of respondents said that they had a thorough knowledge of the new regulation, 52.2% said they had some awareness of it, and a further 12.2% felt that they had no awareness of it whatsoever. This is despite more than one in four (28.6%) businesses saying that personal data is critical for their business model.

18.4% of the businesses polled said that the new regulation will lead to significant costs, but 20.4% acknowledged that the GDPR would lead to greater efficiency and 15% said that it will provide them with new opportunities.

Despite general recognition of the importance of the new regulation and greater expectations for business to disclose data breaches, only 12.3% of the businesses polled have taken out cyber insurance.

Erica Constance, Cyber Portfolio Manager, QBE Business Insurance, said:

“Despite a lot of noise around the introduction of the GDPR, it is clear from this research that the new regulation could catch a lot of businesses by surprise. With only 27.6% of respondents confident enough to say that they are fully compliant with the legislation only a few days away from its introduction, it is apparent that the GDPR is causing severe headaches for many organisations.”

Erica Constance continues “From Friday, if a business has a data breach, they will be expected to alert the Information Commissioner’s Office within 72 hours. Failure to do so could result in considerable fines, which combined with the potential damage to reputation means cyber risk should be firmly at the top of all businesses’ agendas.”

For those businesses that are not quite ready for 25th May deadline, QBE has published the Top five things to focus on in the run up to GDPR.


For further information contact:

Alexis Burris, Media Relations Adviser, QBE, +44 (0)20 3465 3921,

About QBE

QBE European Operations is part of QBE Insurance Group, one of the world’s leading international insurers and reinsurers and Standard & Poor’s A+ rated. Listed on the Australian Securities Exchange, QBE’s gross written premium for the year ended 31 December 2016, was US$14.3 billion.

As a business insurance specialist, QBE European Operations offers a range of insurance products from the standard suite of property, casualty and motor to the specialist financial lines, marine and energy. All are tailored to the individual needs of our small, medium and large client base.

We understand the crucial role that effective risk management plays in all organisations and work hard to understand our clients’ businesses so that we offer insurance solutions that meet their needs – from complex programmes to simpler e-trading solutions – and support them in minimising their risk exposures. Our expert risk management and rehabilitation practitioners focus on helping clients improve their risk management so that they may benefit from a reduction in claims frequency and costs.

Your contact

Your contact

Sandra Villanueva

Sandra Villanueva

Head of Media Relations & Content, QBE International