Contractor & Freelancer Insurance Guide

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Contractor & Freelancer Insurance Guide

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What is public liability insurance?

Public liability insurance covers your interactions with third parties (by this definition, anyone who isn't your employee).

If your business causes an injury or property damage to a member of the public, public liability insurance will cover you for the resulting legal and compensation costs.

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What is a contractor?

A contractor is a professional that provides skills and services to a specific client under set terms. The terms can be for a set number of hours, a certain time frame or duration of a project.

A contractor is responsible for their own dealings and has discretion over the work they carry out.

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What is a Contractor?

You've been thinking about making the leap from employee to self-employed. If contracting is one of the options you're considering, this article is for you.

We'll run you through the basics, including what it means to be a contractor, how it differs from full-time employment and the type of business structures that contractors typically choose.

Contractors are self-employed individuals who provide services to a business. Generally, they're highly skilled, and are hired for projects that require specialist skills or to bolster a team during busy periods.

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What are the disadvantages of contracting?

The disadvantages of contracting are:

  • Uncertainty: Due to the flexible nature of their working relationships, contractors aren't guaranteed work after the end of assignment or project.
  • Responsibility: Not only is it the responsibility of the contractor to find work, they are also responsible for their own finances.
  • Employment rights: As a contractor, you generally wouldn't find yourself holding employment rights that permanent employees benefit from.
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What is an insurance broker?

Insurance brokers are professionals who sell various types of insurance coverage to clients.

Auto, home, health, life, property, and other varieties of insurance all fall under this umbrella. Some insurance brokers work independently and others work for brokerage firms; some deal with individuals, and some elect to work only with businesses.

An insurance broker's job is to help inform clients of how best to handle risk management. They help make it possible for individuals and companies to obtain and provide insurance for themselves, their families, their property, and their businesses.

Within the UK, brokers are regulated on the state level.

They're often required to hold a specialized license that can only be obtained after completing education and testing requirements. The information they learn during the period prior to certification allows them to guide clients and answer their questions without trouble. Brokers seek to help clients understand their liabilities and how to manage those risks most effectively.

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Can I get business insurance before registering my business?

Yes, you can get business insurance before registering your business.

When you're buying your policy, information that your insurer will ask for include your business address, trade type and actual or projected turnover. You may also be asked about your business structure.

Your insurer won't ask about your company registration number (CRN) or other business registration details. As such, you'll be able to buy business insurance while you're in the midst of settling the paperwork you need to set up your company.

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What is a retroactive date on professional indemnity insurance?

The retroactive date on your professional indemnity insurance is the date from which you've held uninterrupted professional indemnity insurance, or a date in the past from which your insurer has agreed to cover you.

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What are the advantages of contracting?

The advantages of contracting are:

  • Flexibility: Contractors have a lot more control over their work life often deciding when they work, where they work and how they work
  • Increased earnings: Contractors are often paid more due to their skillset and the flexible nature of their working relationships. Additionally, contractors who operate through their own limited company can benefit from tax efficiencies.
  • Greater development: Often working with multiple clients throughout their career, contractors are exposed to a lot of opportunities to develop their skills and build on their experience in their area of expertise.
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Employing contractors

There are a few steps you'll need to consider with hiring contractors. These include:

  • Sourcing for contractors
  • Assessing contractor CVs
  • Interviewing a contractor
  • Payments
  • Contract terms
  • Terminating a contract
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Guide to employing or hiring contractors

You have an important project at hand, and you require a contractor's specialist knowledge to fill in the skill gap in your team. You're ready to hire-except that you're unfamiliar with the hiring process.

If this is your first time hiring a contractor, our article will guide you through the essentials.

We'll cover the following:

  • Sourcing for contractors
  • Assessing contractor CVs
  • Interviewing a contractor
  • Payments
  • Contract terms
  • Terminating a contract
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What is subcontracting?

As an independent contractor, there may come a point in time where you need to consider subcontracting-you might decide to take on work as a subcontractor, or hire a subcontractor for your projects.

Whichever option you're exploring, how do you decide if the benefits truly outweigh the cons? And are there important tips you need to keep in mind?

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Do I need business insurance?

Having business insurance ensures that you and your business are protected should the worst happens.

These policies can help cover the costs that arise due to property damage or liability claims-without which you'd have to pay for legal claims and damages out of your own pocket. The costs can add up to a significant amount-and can be financially devastating for self-employed workers and small business owners.

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Does public liability insurance cover employees?

Public liability insurance doesn't cover claims made by employees. It's designed to cover compensation claims made by a third party - for example a client, a customer, a supplier, or another member of the public - because they've been injured or their property's been damaged by your business.

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Contractor & Freelancer Insurance Guide

  • What is business insurance?
  • What insurance you need
  • Legal requirements for insurance for freelancers
  • Legal requirements for insurance for contractors
  • How to find the best policy
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Do I need public liability insurance?

Public liability insurance isn't compulsory by law, but many businesses decide that they need it to protect themselves from crippling compensation costs, and also to satisfy the requirements of potential clients.

As it can protect you if you're sued by a member of the public, this insurance is particularly important if you interact with customers, suppliers or passersby in the course of your work.

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Can I get public liability insurance with a criminal record?

Whether you can get public liability insurance with a criminal record depends on a number of things, including the details of your criminal convictions. Although some insurers won't provide insurance to anyone with a criminal record, some will provide it in certain circumstances.

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What does professional indemnity insurance cover?

Professional indemnity insurance is designed to protect you if your client suffers a financial loss as a result of your professional services. It covers the cost of your legal defence and compensation you need to pay to a client for a claim made against you.

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Do I need professional indemnity insurance as a contractor?

Covering legal costs and expenses in your defence as well as any damages or costs that may be awarded, professional indemnity insurance comes highly recommended for those providing professional services. Many professions need to have professional indemnity insurance as part of their respective industry body's regulatory requirements and so always double check your contractual agreements.

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What business insurance do contractors and freelancers need?

As a self-employed person-whether you're running a full-time freelance gig, or hustling on the side-you'll need to think about the risks you face and whether business insurance could be a good idea.

In this article, our business insurance partner, Superscript, explains the covers you may want to consider getting.

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What does business insurance cover?

Different types of business insurance cover different risks. Public liability insurance covers compensation claims made by a member of the public, while professional indemnity insurance covers you if you're sued by a client. Employers' liability insurance covers compensation claims from employees.

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