Up until recently, I was working for a company where all my insurance was taken care of. It was not until I started working for myself and needed to source my own insurance that I realised how long it would take to fill in all the forms and how much it would cost me.
Virtually everyone who is self-employed needs insurance, whether they are a freelancer, a contractor, or working under a company umbrella. The type of insurance you need depends on the type of work you do.
The cost of insurance can also be quite off-putting, especially when you first start out or have a small company with limited funds coming in. That is why we are creating Tapoly to offer you on-demand insurance. You only pay for the cover you need, when you need it and nothing more.
Here is our list of must have insurance if you are a freelancer, contractor or SME:
Insurance for freelancers
If you are a freelancer, you may be concerned about being sued by a client who is unhappy with the quality of your work or if you give inadequate or incorrect advice. Professional indemnity insurance can protect you by paying the costs of the legal settlement for the things you got wrong. However, it cannot protect you from deliberate wrongdoing. Most importantly, you need to have cover in place when a claim arises. This is because your insurance contract will only pay for claims made during the period you are insured.
However it is not just giving advice that could lead to problems. If you work at or visit client sites during the course of your work, something as simple as a spilled coffee might damage someone else’s laptop or cause them to slip over. Public liability insurance will cover you for any compensation you may have to pay including legal costs arising from accidents that are found to be your fault. This cover only pays claims if a policy was in force at the time of the event causing the dispute.
For many, professional indemnity and public liability insurance are about more than just peace of mind, they are a contractual requirement and a gateway to better clients. Whether you are working for a firm that provides advice, operate in a regulated environment, or you simply want to improve your business image, many clients will judge your eligibility based on your access to quality insurance cover.
If you are worried about whether you will have money to pay your bills if you can no longer work you should also consider getting income protection that will pay out if you are sick or accidentally injured and cannot work. Or you can go for short-term income protection, which works in exactly the same way except it only provides compensation for up to 24 months.
Insurance for a company
If you are set up as a company, you will need professional indemnity and public liability insurance, in the same cases as you would as an individual, but in addition you will also need employer’s liability insurance to cover you for compensation payments and legal costs if an employee sues you for a work-related illness or injury. Employer’s liability is a legal requirement for any company that has employees, including directors who are employees.
Depending on the size of your company you may want to get Directors and Officers liability (D&O) insurance which offers protection for the directors and senior managers of the firm if they are sued for breach of their duty to run the firm prudently. Shareholders, customers or even employees can bring lawsuits against you. Just like professional indemnity it does not cover criminal activities such as fraud, and it pays claims only if they arise when a policy is in force.
Lastly, if you offer products and services through an online platform, or hold customer data, you should consider getting cyber insurance, which can cover you for a variety of costs and consequential losses arising out of malicious cyber activity and extortion. These issues are a growing problem, and recent high-profile events have affected organisations like the NHS, voter registration systems in the US, as well as people in the public eye such as Hillary Clinton and the President of France, Emmanuel Macron.
Today, insurance is an essential part of a sound business. With ever stricter regulations, new cyber threats, and an increasing willingness to sue over incidents that up until a few years ago would have been considered inconsequential, insurance protects you and allows you to focus on your work.
The above are the most important types of insurance to consider for freelancers, contractors or SME, and Tapoly aims to provide a broad range of on-demand insurance. If you want to support us in getting these products to the market sooner, please visit the Tapoly website and sign up today.
If you need help and support in getting your insurance please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org