Five things to look for when purchasing freelancer insurance

There’s nothing quite as great in life as that of working as a freelancer. Self-autonomous, working to your own schedule, it’s in this world that you get to call the shots without anyone else pressuring you to take time out to do otherwise. Yet with freelancing, as it does with most things, comes some element of risk. What happens if the clients you work so hard to deliver to don’t keep their end of the bargain? Or likewise, if you aren’t able to handle the commitments set out in paper?

This is where it becomes useful to look into freelancer insurance, to help protect you if things go off-track and not quite to plan. Purchasing this type of insurance can be a little overwhelming if you have little to no prior experience researching it, that’s why these five following pointers should hopefully help you. Consider them the next time you’re hunting through policies.

Recognise what kind of policy you need

Depending on the type of freelance work you undertake, the different types of policies there are out there may or may not apply to you. In the finance sector for example, you’re likely to be doing a lot of consulting, which is why professional indemnity is an absolute must from a policy as it protects you financially from the cost of any claims made about advice or from omissions made on your behalf. Public liability, on the other hand, which involves protection against legal liability against the cost of damage of property, may or may not apply to the type of work you do. Understand what you do first and the inherent risks involved and then find a policy that offers the type of protection you need.

Work out the cost

The next thing to do is consider your budget as a freelancer and what you’re able to afford in terms of insurance. It’s highly unlikely that you’ll require all forms of coverage in a policy and most people will probably only need a mix between tax and VAT insurance, employer’s liability and public liability. Then prospect insurance brokers to see what they can offer you in terms of cost for a policy and tell them exactly what you type of work you’re undertaking and the kinds of risks involved. Hopefully someone will be more than willing to listen and advise you accordingly but there’s always the ability to hop online and browse the policies offered by a range of insurance companies before diving in.

Canvas friends or associates

If you’re just starting out in the freelance world and are unsure of how you might expand or what might develop in your business, then your perhaps a little unsure what you might need in terms of coverage. As mentioned before, talking with an insurance broker is always a solid first step, but also turning to friends or associates you know with similar businesses might be a great asset to draw upon. Ask them what types of things they think you should be covered for and look to the history of their businesses to see what kind of problems or situations have arisen that could happen for you.

Consider joining a union

Although not an integral step in taking out freelancer insurance, joining a union or membership body that has some element of authority in trading standards within your niche is something to strongly consider. Inside such unions you might find people able to better advise you as well as give you extra support and leverage in terms of filing for cover or coming into any other kind of legal snag.

Looking into freelancer insurance for the first time can be daunting. Firstly, try not to get too bogged down or intimidated. Hopefully these four things can also help clarify whether it’s for you.

Photograph by Ildar Sagdejev

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