Freelancing is a field that has only continued to grow, especially in Canada. As of 2018, 2.9 million Canadians reported that they were self-employed, accounting for 15% of the entire national workforce. For individuals who prize flexibility, freedom, and the opportunity to be their own boss, freelancing is a career that delivers it all.
However, this freedom does come with a price. A traditional office role will likely already be covered by the appropriate business or commercial insurance, but as a freelancer, it is now directly up to you to obtain the protection you need.
Why It’s Important to Protect Yourself With Insurance
At first glance, it may not seem like you have much that you’d need to worry about protecting, especially if you’re working right out of your house. The truth of the matter is that the same risks that threaten both small and large companies apply to you, too.
For example, what would happen if you were to be sued by a client? Or what if an essential piece of equipment – like a car or computer – was damaged on the job? Without the right insurance, you could be left to make up the full cost of these setbacks. In fact, some industries may require that you have insurance established before you begin taking on clients.
How to Tell Which Insurance You Need
Determining the type of insurance you need can be challenging. After all, you might well be using some of your own personal belongings or a portion of your private residence to conduct your business. Do you need home insurance, commercial insurance, or some combination of the two?
This is where your insurance broker will be able to provide some clarity. As a general rule, you will likely need a combination of insurance packages to obtain the coverage you need for your specific industry, but your broker will be able to offer advice to help narrow it down.
General Liability Insurance
No matter what kind of work you do, you’ll want to look into general liability insurance for your business. Commercial general liability insurance typically consists of five parts:
- Property protection (i.e. your building, the building’s contents, and stock)
- Crime insurance
- Business interruption
- Machinery breakdown
- Liability insurance (typically covers bodily injury and property damage for the premises, products, operations, and completed operations)
If you’d like protection against libel and slander, these can usually be purchased through a liability umbrella. This umbrella will additionally increase your base liability limit by increments of $1 million.
Depending on the work you conduct, you may require Errors & Omissions coverage. Errors & Omissions coverage protects you in the event that the advice or counsel you provide is incorrect, or if you fail to act as instructed on behalf of a client.
Commercial Property and Auto Insurance
Perhaps you own a small warehouse for your products, or you use your personal vehicle to get to and from business meetings. Your personal or residential insurance might not cover damages that occur while these assets are being used for business purposes, which means you should consider commercial insurance as an addition to your current insurance policy. For home insurance, the business sub-limit is usually around $5,000 for contents, with no liability coverage.
Do bear in mind that if you are invoicing independently, you are acting as your own agent, as opposed to an agent of another company.
Personal and Commercial Insurance from Will Marshall
No matter whether you’re a freelancer, a small business owner, or a budding entrepreneur, you’ll want to be certain that you, your work, and your clients are protected by the right commercial insurance policy.
If you’re not sure where to start, get in touch with Will Marshall Insurance Brokers. Serving Barrie and Orillia since 1983, we’ve got the experience to help you find the residential, auto, or commercial insurance that’s the best match for you.
If you’d like to learn more about commercial insurance, give us a call at (705) 726-2551. You can also contact us online.