Being your own boss: an exciting chance to control your own destiny or a terrifying ticket to an uncertain future?

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Well, it’s true that working for yourself gives you the freedom to choose what you do, where and when you do it, and who you do it for.

But it also means that you’re on your own. Doing without the security of an employer takes guts, hard work and total commitment. Your success depends on it.

So if you’re going it alone you need all the help and support you can get. A healthy book of contacts for ongoing work is a prerequisite, of course, but joining your one-person army should be a reliable accountant to look after your finances and a knowledgeable insurance broker to keep an eye out for potential risks.

That’s where freelance insurance comes in. We know that freelancers are vulnerable; larger clients won’t hesitate to roll out the lawyers if you make a mistake.

We also know that it’s unlikely you’ll have the time or resources to defend yourself if they do. Don’t worry, we’ll point you in the direction of good policies from reliable insurers designed to protect you if the worst happens.

But where do you start? Professional insurance for freelancers is complicated and expensive isn’t it? Not necessarily. Here’s what you need to know:

Professional indemnity insurance

This essential self-employed insurance protects you against claims of negligence made by dissatisfied clients.

If you find yourself in dispute with a client, professional indemnity insurance covers the cost of defending any allegations or claims made against you.

If you’re in the wrong, the insurer will either pay to fix your mistake or compensate your client if that’s not possible.

Click here for more information.

Public liability insurance

Public liability insurance covers claims against you for bodily injury and/or physical damage.

If you visit clients’ premises (whether it’s for an hour’s meeting or a six month contract) or they visit yours, and there’s an accident that’s your fault, you could be held liable.

This insurance covers the cost of your day in court and any compensation paid to your client.

Click here for more information.

Employers’ liability insurance

This is the only legally required insurance you need. The law says that every limited company in the UK with one employee or more has to have it. The minimum level of cover is £5 million; most insurers only offer £10 million.

It covers employers against claims of injury or illness made by employees.

We find it’s quite common for clients to ask sole traders to have employers’ liability as a contractual requirement – even though the employer and the employee are the same person.

Click here for more information or here for a quote. Employers’ liability is arranged in conjunction with public liability insurance.

Office, property and general business insurance

Whether you work from home or at your clients’ office, this insurance covers your fixed and portable equipment against loss or damage.

If needs be, it covers damage to your workspace and helps with the cost and logistics of keeping your business up and running if disaster strikes.

Click here for more information.

Personal accident insurance

If you’re unlucky enough to be physically injured, this insurance pays your business a lump sum to help keep it going in your absence. It covers the costs you’d face to recruit or retrain someone to help you out while you’re out of action.

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