What insurance cover should I consider as a freelance writer?
We know that as a freelance writer, self-employed business insurance might fall down your list of priorities. You’d rather concentrate on the words – not worry about the “what ifs” of a freelancer lifestyle – but as a creative professional, you’ve also got to understand the risks that you’re taking on when you produce written content for clients.
Freelancing is common in the world of professional writing, with many people entering into contracts with clients without properly protecting themselves financially. In this blog, we’ll take a look at the most useful types of business insurance for writers – so that you can ensure your freelance career is more “happily ever after” than “dark and stormy night”.
Professional indemnity insurance for freelance writers
You draft carefully, edit ruthlessly and proofread meticulously before sending any of your work to your clients. But even with the best of intentions, mistakes can still happen. Whether it’s an errant typo that means your client has to get their entire run of leaflets reprinted or an unintentionally libellous comment that gets posted in a blog, a career in freelance writing does leave you exposed to legal risks and hazards.
Professional indemnity insurance is there to protect you and your client in these instances. It will cover legal fees and any compensation/damages awarded for cases of professional negligence that have cost your clients money, such as:
- Copyright breaches – where your work might appear unintentionally too similar to something else that’s out there, or you’ve forgotten to reference your sources.
- Defamation, liable and slander – if your words damage the reputation of someone or cause them distress or harm.
- Mistakes and negligence – when you’ve made factual errors or typos in your copy.
Public liability insurance for freelance writers
Although they say the pen is mightier than the sword, no one really thinks of writing as a particularly dangerous activity – but when you’re running a small business, hazards exist whenever you’re working in contact with the general public. That’s why public liability insurance is a must for anyone who writes on-the-go.
When you are not required to work in a client’s office, you may favour getting your creative juices flowing by people-watching from the corner of a cafe, holing up in a public library or joining in the chat in a co-working space. In all these circumstances, as you are acting in a business capacity you need to seriously consider public liability insurance – as your home contents insurance is unlikely to protect you.
A public liability policy will protect the people around you if an accident happens when you’re working outside the home, in a client office or elsewhere – for example, if a fellow customer trips over the cable of your laptop in a coffee shop, or if you spill your drink over a fellow freelancer’s MacBook in a co-working space.
It will cover legal fees and compensation if people are injured or their property damaged as a result of the activities of your business. Many clients also ask for this protection as part of their standard freelancer contract, so it helps ensure that you are meeting your contractual obligations. Find out more here about what public liability insurance covers.
Gadget and equipment insurance for freelance writers
From quills to typewriters, writers have long been associated with the romantic tools of their trade. Nowadays, while you might have a favourite notebook and pen, you will almost certainly be filing most of your articles, blogs and copy electronically. Without your laptop or tablet, it would be impossible for you to carry on working.
That’s why Dinghy offers all our freelancers the opportunity to protect those essential gadgets with our business equipment insurance. We will cover any piece of equipment that is owned by your business – anywhere on the planet – and we offer a guarantee of replacement or cash in your bank within 24 hours to minimise the disruptive effect on your workload.
Cyber liability insurance for freelance writers
With your client databases, briefs, and confidential emails, freelance writers are probably holding onto a lot more sensitive data than they realise. Small businesses are an increasing target for cyber attacks because they don’t have the infrastructure of a larger company.
Ransomware – where your systems are held captive until you pay a large sum of money – can be particularly devastating to freelance writers. It might mean you don’t have access to your files and can’t work while your computer is held hostage. Cyber liability insurance helps to mitigate against these risks, offering you help with ransomware demands, restoring your systems and recovering data, as well as regulatory fines that might be incurred.
Because we know that working as a freelance writer can sometimes feel like a little bit of a solitary activity, Freelancer Assist comes bundled at no extra charge with every Dinghy insurance policy. It makes sure you’re not alone by giving you access to a support package, including legal, tax and counselling helplines.
Freelance writers are also especially vulnerable to unpaid invoices: IPSE estimates that freelancers in the creative industries are owed an average of £5,400 a year in unpaid invoices! Freelancer Assist offers an invoice-chasing service, where we can help you recover unpaid debts of £200 or more, helping you get paid and freeing you up to pursue more work.
Insure your freelance writing business today
Dinghy insurance can offer freelance writers all the cover and benefits described above, in a special flexible package that’s tailored to the needs of freelancers. It’s cover that you can dial up and down at the click of a button; perfect for those times between assignments or when you’re taking some leave. It’s cover that you can manage via our app, making it easier than ever to take charge of your business insurance. And it’s cover that you can pay monthly with no hidden fees or charges.
Freelance writers can get sorted with their small business insurance today by heading to our website for a quote straight to your inbox.