Some self-employed occupations are rather obviously in need of insurance. If you’re a stuntperson, for instance. Or a lion tamer, or someone who swims with sharks. But what about the rest of us, who have more mundane occupations, such as an accountant, a business coach — or an insurance loss assessor?

In fact, anyone who’s self-employed needs business insurance. Without it, you could end up facing a devastating financial burden, if anything goes wrong and someone sues you. This could destroy your business and even leave you personally bankrupt.

Even if you never have to make an insurance claim, though, having business insurance can offer positive benefits. Many potential customers, for example, will be looking at what insurance you have in place before deciding whether to go with you or a competitor. You could end up recovering the monthly premium you pay many times over.

There are various types of business insurance, though. How do you know which you need?

Types of Business Insurance

  • General Liability Insurance — This is the most fundamental type of business insurance, and it’s essential for any business, from a self-employed solopreneur to a large corporation. It will protect you from claims for personal injury or property damage, as well as for non-physical injuries such as slander and libel, misrepresentation or copyright infringement. Besides the obvious financial protection in case of a claim, having a general liability insurance policy in place is often a condition for signing a contract or leasing commercial space.
  • Professional Liability Insurance — This protects businesses that offer services or advice from claims of negligence or harm due to professional misjudgement. It’s easy to make one mistake, and if you’re unlucky that single slip could result in severe fines and legal fees. Professional liability insurance will ensure you can make an insurance claim to cover these.
  • Cyber Liability Insurance — It’s a rare business these days that doesn’t have its data stored digitally, and there are criminals out there who’d love to steal it. Whether it’s your own data, your employees’ or your customers’, you have a legal obligation to safeguard it — as well as the potentially devastating effects on your business if it’s stolen, either for ransom or to sell on the black market. This could result in fines, as well as hefty legal fees, but cyber liability insurance will make sure that the insurer’s loss adjuster will have to pass your claim.
  • Property Insurance — If you have any physical premises you use to undertake your business, you’ll need to have it insured. In the event of an incident such as fire, flooding, theft or accidental damage, property insurance will allow you to replace furnishing and equipment and have the working space restored, so that you can resume use of it as quickly as possible.
  • Business Interruption Insurance — If your business is hit by a disaster like fire or flooding, it may be difficult for you to continue trading for a while until your property is restored or your equipment replaced. That could have disastrous consequences for both the survival of the business and your own livelihood. Business interruption insurance will cover any downtime, as well as providing funds to allow you to get up and running as again soon as possible — for instance, locating an alternative temporary or permanent trading premises.

You’ll probably need most or all of these forms of insurance for your self-employed business, but identifying your exact requirements can be tricky. Allied Claims would always advise you to use a good insurance broker to get the right policies — then, if you have to claim on them, we can help you get the payments you’re entitled to.


Disclaimer

All content within this column is provided for general information only, and should not be treated as a substitute for the Insurance advice of your own broker or any other Insurance professional. Allied Claims is not responsible or liable for any decisions made by a user based on the content of this site.

Allied Claims is not liable for the contents of any external internet sites listed, nor does it endorse any commercial product or service mentioned or advised on any of the sites. Always consult your own Insurance broker if you’re in any way concerned about your insurance cover.