Guide to Business Insurance for Freelancers and Self-Employed Professionals

Professional indemnity insurance for freelancers and self-employed professionals

Often freelancers and self-employed professionals do not know they need specialist liability insurance for their business and work. Here is a guide to some of the cover you may need to ensure you are protected when doing your work or running your small business.

Professional indemnity insurance (PII) protects your reputation as a business freelancer. Should a design, idea or decision you undertake as part of your freelance or self-employed work turn out to be problematic or damaging for your client financially, you will be glad of this cover.

PII covers you against the risk of slander, defamation and potential loss of earnings through reputational damage. It can also provide financial assistance for crisis containment, including from a PR point of view.

Cyber security insurance for freelancers

Cyber liability insurance provides provides financial assistance if you need to take restorative action after you are subject to a cyber attack. This includes theft of your intellectual property and, importantly with the launch of GDPR, data recovery in the event of a security breach to protect your clients.

It can also cover you for extortion if a hacker tries to hold your business to ransom, and business interruption for loss of income if a hacker prevents your business from earning revenue.

Find out more about what cyber security insurance you may need with our cyber risk assessment tool.

Public liability insurance for freelancers

Public liability insurance covers you and your business should a member of the public sue after an injury or damage caused by your negligence. You particularly need this cover if you are visiting other people’s properties.

You often need more cover for public liability than you think, as third-party public accidents can easily happen and these claims often escalate. Public liability insurance can provide cover for a wide range of professions from tradesmen to dog walkers with a variety of cover options to tailor your policy to your business needs.

Tool and plant insurance for self-employed professionals

If you have tools, hired-in or own plant, or specialist IT equipment for your trade, ensure they are covered. This both protects you against safety risks at work, and covers you against financial risks should your equipment be lost, stolen or damaged. If you are working onsite with tools in a vehicle, you can also feel secure they are covered against theft.

Stock insurance for online retailers

If you are an online retailer based in your home, you still have the risk of stock being stolen, lost or damaged. Specialist business insurance can cover you for these issues.

Product liability cover for self-employed professionals

If your business supplies goods to customers, product liability insurance covers you against legal costs should a customer claim for injury or property damage as resulting of a faulty or defective product you have supplied. Note this applies to digital / virtual as well as physical products.

Do I need business insurance if I only work from home?

It is advisable to still have insurance even if you work purely from your own home, and packages are often available for this. For example, if you are a home-working freelancer, journalist, writer, editor, small business owner or trader, a bespoke business insurance package could cover risks to your professional reputation, product liability and cyber security.

Business insurance from Towergate

Learn about our business insurance, which we can tailor to your needs – whatever size you are, and however big you want to be. Let us know your profession and we’ll put you in touch with a specialist team for a business insurance quote.

About the author

Mike Stephens FCII is a respected senior industry professional and Fellow of the Chartered Insurance Institute (CII) with well over 40 years’ varied experience in the commercial insurance sector as a director, underwriter, and operational improvement manager.