May 20, 2021

Freelancer insurance FAQ’s

Written by Martin Baxter

What’s the meaning of life? Do fish ever get thirsty? Where do all the teaspoons go?

We don’t have the answer to every question, but when it comes to business insurance for freelancers, we like to think we know our stuff. In fact, if the Dinghy team ever got invited on Mastermind, that would be our specialist subject. So pull up a black chair, start the scary music, dim the lights and settle in for some answers to the top FAQs about business insurance for freelancers.

What is professional indemnity insurance?

Professional Indemnity. It sounds like the title of a John Grisham novel, not something you should have to consider as a freelance writer, web developer or graphic designer. But learning a bit about professional indemnity insurance now can save you lots of time, money and stress further down the line. Professional indemnity insurance is there to protect you against claims that your work is not up to scratch. Anyone providing a professional service needs this coverage. If a client turns around and claims that there was a mistake in your work that has caused them financial loss, they may try and take legal action to recover the costs and damages from you. This can leave you with a huge legal bill for defence costs as well as any compensation due. Professional indemnity insurance from Dinghy will cover these costs and provide you with an expert legal team to defend against the claim.

Professional indemnity insurance can cover claims such as:

  • Mistakes or negligence;
  • Defamation – Libel or slander;
  • Copyright infringement;
  • Breaches of confidentiality or loss of data.

In the US, this type of insurance is sometimes called “errors and omissions” which gives you some idea of the sorts of things it might cover. For a graphic designer, it could be that you make a layout error on a brochure, and the client has to reprint the entire run. If you’re a web designer, you might accidentally use a copyrighted image without permission or credit on a clients’ website. If you’ve been crunching some datasets for a client, it’s easy to slip and forward them onto the wrong person, releasing sensitive company data. All these things could lead to a claim against you. Many client contracts will specify that you must hold professional indemnity insurance so they know that both parties are protected if something goes wrong – so if you don’t hold this, you may be in breach of contract. Find out more about professional indemnity insurance for freelancers.

What does public liability insurance cover me against?

If professional indemnity insurance is about protecting yourself and your work, public liability is about protecting those around you. Anyone who works out in public, whether that’s at your own premises, in a co-working space, in a cafe, or clients’ offices, needs to have public liability insurance. There are two main things that public liability insurance will cover:

  • An accident that causes injury or harm to someone else;
  • An accident that causes damage to someone else’s property.

Say you’re looking over a client’s shoulder and accidentally spill your coffee all over their computer. Public liability insurance would provide financial and legal cover if they tried to claim against you for a repair or replacement. Or if you’re in a co-working space and a stranger trips over your laptop cable and breaks their arm. Public liability insurance would cover any damages that a court decided they were owed from you. Claims of this type can often run into thousands of pounds, especially if it’s a serious injury and long-term rehabilitation is necessary. That’s why it’s important to have public liability insurance in place if your work takes you out and about. Find out more about public liability insurance for freelancers.

What items will be covered under business insurance?

What couldn’t you run your business without? Your laptop? Your camera? Your drawing tablet? Whatever your essential tools of the trade are, they will be covered under business equipment insurance as long as they are owned by your business, not by you personally. Whether it’s musical instruments or mobile phones, make sure you add up the value of all your business equipment and purchase the appropriate level of cover, then it will all be protected against loss, theft and damage, anywhere in the world. If you’d struggle to do your work without a particular piece of kit, then it’s worth getting it covered. Dinghy’s promise is to replace equipment or have the cash in your bank account within 24 hours, so you can get back to business ASAP. Dinghy is even one of the few insurers to cover items in co-working spaces, provided they are not left unattended. If you’ve still got questions about business equipment insurance for freelancers, check out our in-depth guide here.

Do you have a burning question about freelance business insurance that isn’t answered here? Our friendly team will be happy to help – simply drop us a line at hello@getdinghy.com or call 0116 380 5654. And if you want a quote for professional indemnity, public liability or business insurance, get a quote in seconds here.

About Martin Baxter

Read more blog posts by Martin Baxter


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