If you've established your freelance writing as a business, have you thought about carrying some kind of insurance, such as indemnity insurance or liability insurance? Or, are these phrases Greek to you?
Here are some reasons you may want to carry insurance, along with the different kinds of insurance to look into.
Indemnity Insurance ("Errors and Omissions Insurance") for Freelancers
This kind of insurance is also called professional liability insurance or professional indemnity insurance, and protects you against being sued by clients or former clients claiming that your writing or the product you made was somehow negligent due to an error or accidental omission. This kind of suit would be brought in the civil court system and could cost you a lot of money. Obviously, this would not cover cases that would end up in criminal court! It is an insurance that is similar to the malpractice insurance that doctors hold; it is insurance that covers you and limits your liability while you are in the process of doing your job. This is a type of insurance that is very often carried by consultants and independent contractors. Thursday Bram details some potential scenarios and issues that this kind of insurance typically covers.
Liability Insurance for Freelancers
This is "slip and fall" insurance- that is, it's insurance that covers you were someone to be injured on your premises. Other scenarios include dog bites, etc. Obviously, if you're not having clients or subcontractors visit your house, this may not be an issue. However, bundling insurances together can often lead to a significant discount, and you'll want to be able to invite people to your house in a pinch, so do give this insurance a second look..
Home Insurance for Freelancers
If you write from a home office, consider checking in with your home insurance agent. You need to make sure that your home insurance also covers your home office and the items inside it. I'm looking at two laptops and a printer that would cost me nearly $5000 to replace were they damaged in a fire or lost in a robbery. Now, I think they're covered under my home owners insurance, but you never know unless you check. What if your insurance requires a rider or a separate policy? You would not want to find that out as you're recovering from a tragic event.
Contents Insurance for Freelancers
Contents insurance is similar to the above, but specifically covers the items in your office (such as the aforementioned laptops).
Auto Insurance for Freelancers
Do you use your vehicle to visit clients, get to meetings or do marketing tasks? Check with your car insurance agent to make sure that these uses are covered under your vehicle insurance.
Business Interruption Insurance for Freelancers
This kind of insurance ensures that you have a consistent income were your business operations interrupted by some type of natural disaster. Arrangements vary, but could save you lots of grief.
Disability Insurance for Freelancers
Freelancers aren't covered by employers like the rest of the working world. Disability insurance ensures that you'll continue to have an income if you were hurt or injured and couldn't write. I found some great deals and low monthly payments on disability insurance at the Freelancers Union.
Health Insurance for Freelancers (and National Insurance)
I have addressed health insurance for freelancers here. The national conversation about health insurance is in a state of change since national insurance requirements are changing, too.
Dental Insurance for Freelancers
I've found some dental coverage options at the Freelance Union website, too. Again, they seem affordable. Also, be sure to check out my articles on freelance health insurance, as these same pools and providers may be helpful in locating dental insurance.
Life Insurance for Freelancers
The Freelance Union says that your valuable, and I'm sure your family feels the same way! Life insurance makes sure that your death isn't an undue burden on your family, and provides them a stream of income to replace yours. The Union has some pretty affordable rates.
Media Insurance for Freelancers
I first learned about media insurance at Women on Writing. It's also called "media perils" insurance. The article describes it as a protection against defamation and libel suits, which certainly seems necessary in this day and age of rating and reviewing everyone online. It notes that, even if you're totally and completely innocent of such charges, the legal fees associated with fighting such charges are astronomical, but covered by this insurance. Sounds like a win-win to me.
Supplemental Insurance for Freelancers
You've seen the AFLAC (link) commercials, right? Upon purusing the AFLAC website, I've noted that these policies (for indirect costs such as mortgage, bills) are sold to individuals, therefore it's logical that they are available to freelancers. Feel free to poke around their website- they've got life, dental and major illness insurance, too.
Covering yourself now helps to avoid a lot of issues later! Assess your needs and do your homework, and you'll end up with business and personal coverage that's right for you.