If you work as a contractor then it is important that you take measures to protect yourself from accidents, and liability. Contractors insurance is often offered as a part of a business owners policy which includes general liability insurance, as well as other important policies such as workers’ compensation. This means that if anything goes wrong, there is a good chance that your business is covered.
Contractor insurance is a fundamental part of any form of contract – it is something that most worthy clients would expect you to have, and you’d struggle to do business with savvy companies without being able to prove that you’re insured.
The insurance company will want to assess you to make sure that you are doing business in a safe way, and will want to see proof of your qualifications in most cases, and know what kind of business you are doing. They will underwrite claims up to a certain level, but only pay out if you can prove that you were acting in good faith and took all reasonable precautions.
It’s a good idea to make sure that clients sign agreements which define what you are doing, and what you are liable for – and if they demand that you do something that you would ordinarily advise against, you either refuse to do it, or make sure that they sign a (legally binding) waiver. You should seek advice about that sort of thing before drawing anything up.
Do not try to do business uninsured. Yes, a lot of people think of insurance as being optional – and even a luxury – but this is a bad way of looking at it. If you take chances with your business like that, you might get away with it for a while, but you’ll find that if something does go wrong it could be financially crippling. It makes sense to do everything in your power to protect yourself from that eventuality.
Not all jobs have contractors insurance as a legal requirement – in a lot of cases it is something that you can get away with not having – but know that even though the law doesn’t force you to do something, that doesn’t mean that not doing it is a good idea. Think about things like brushing your teeth – you aren’t legally required to do that, or to exercise, either – but you still do it because it is the sensible, safe and healthy thing to do. Treat insurance like that, and you will have more chance of your business surviving.
Be sure to shop around for your insurance, though – you need insurance, of course, but that need doesn’t automatically mean that you should just pay through the nose for cover – shopping around could save you a lot of money while still getting you what you need. Different providers offer different levels of cover, and you could save a fortune with a bit of savvy shopping. So, look around and see what