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There are plenty of insurance products that can cover you against the risks of doing business

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What insurance do I need as a professional?

If you’re a self-employed professional or you run a small business, chances are you’ll need some kind of insurance. There are many types of business insurance for professionals – what level of cover you’ll need will often depend on the line of work you’re in.

If you’re a consultant, for instance, it pays to be protected with professional indemnity insurance, while public liability insurance can help if your business frequently brings you into contact with other people.

If you have more than one employee, it’s a legal requirement for you to have employer’s liability insurance, which protects you from claims where one of your employees suffers an injury or illness. If your workplace has a physical premises, it’s also important to get that covered, along with any equipment you use for your work.

But there are many other kinds of insurance that might also be necessary. In some cases, your clients or customers might insist you have the appropriate level of insurance before they’ll go into business with you. For instance, if you work in live events, many venues will want you to have public liability cover in place before they’ll host you.

Do I need professional indemnity insurance?

You might need professional indemnity insurance if your work involves giving advice or services to clients. For instance, you might need a policy if you’re a solicitor, a financial advisor or a consultant. Professional indemnity cover protects you against claims and legal fees if you make a mistake and your client suffers a loss.

A loss could be either financial or reputational – if there’s any chance you could accidentally damage one of your clients, it’s a good idea to get insured. Some of the claims that professional indemnity cover protects you against include:

  • Negligence: If you give advice that ends up being harmful, or make a mistake when performing a service
  • Breach of confidence or copyright: If you disclose sensitive information, or expose your clients to copyright claims from third parties
  • Lost or damaged documents: If you mishandle important paperwork that your clients might need

Even if you’re confident that you won’t do anything to damage your clients, it’s still possible that someone might make a legal claim against you – and the cost of defending yourself can be high, even if the claim turns out to be baseless.

The amount of professional indemnity cover you’ll need depends on the work you do. If you work with bigger clients, who could potentially lose more money if you make a mistake, it’s important to have enough cover to protect you against any claim.

Not everyone needs to take out professional indemnity cover, though. For instance, if you’re a medical professional working in the NHS, you should already be covered. Private hospitals and other employees might also have their own policies to protect anyone working with them. Check with your employer before you take out insurance to make sure you’re not already covered.

Do I need public liability insurance?

If you own a business that brings you into contact with other people, chances are you’ll need public liability insurance. This cover protects you in case you cause an injury to another person, or damage their property. With public liability insurance, you’re protected against all legal costs, and it’ll also cover any compensation you have to pay after an accident.

Public liability insurance is crucial if your business has a physical premises where someone might get injured, whether it’s a restaurant or a solicitor’s office. But even if you don’t, you might still need cover. You might visit clients at their homes or workplaces, where you could accidentally damage their property or cause an accident. Even if you sell products or services from home, there’s always a chance a customer could take you to court.

When deciding how much cover you need, think about how often your business brings you into contact with other people. It’s also worth finding out what the usual standards are for the industry that your business operates in. Bigger businesses will often need more cover, but these can be good guidelines when it comes to getting insured.

Do I need employer’s liability insurance?

Employer’s liability insurance covers you in case one of your employees suffers an illness or injury as a result of the work they do for you. Employers’ liability cover isn’t just important to protect you from claims – it’s also a legal requirement. If you own a business that has any employees, you need to get insured.

There are only a few exceptions to this rule. You might not need employers’ liability insurance if:

  • You only employ one other person, and that person also owns more than 50% of the business
  • You only employ direct family members
  • Your business uses unpaid volunteers or trainees you don’t directly employ – but in this situation, it’s still worth checking with your provider to see if cover is required

Where can I get business insurance for professionals?

The best way to get a great deal on business insurance for your professional life is to use a price comparison site like MoneySuperMarket.

We’ve teamed up with Simply Business to bring you quotes from over a dozen of the UK’s leading insurers, all available at the click of a mouse. Simply tell us a little about your business, and you could find a great quote within minutes. It’s easy to choose features like public liability cover or professional indemnity insurance, and to compare your quotes by price or the level of cover provided.

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