Business insurance for Contractors


When it comes to accounting for the unexpected as a contractor, insurance can provide useful protection. Whether you’re an IT contractor, HR specialist, accountant or tradesman, when you service clients through a contract, certain risks go with the territory.

You work hard to supply a safe pair of hands for your commercial partners – and customers trust in your expertise. However, if accidents, disagreements or allegations arise, as an independent contractor you could be held liable.

Insurance for contractors brings together policies such as public liability and professional indemnity cover – and can be tailored to your unique business needs.

 

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Why choose Hiscox for contractor insurance?


1

Get expert supportHiscox customers can access discounted services through the Business Support Hub, including advice from qualified experts and tax relief resources.

2

Pay monthly

We let you stay in control of your finances with monthly payments, and we don't charge cancellation fees.

3

PI cover for your industryOur professional indemnity insurance covers a range of scenarios including breach of duty of care, breach of confidence and civil liability claims.

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Why do contractors need insurance?


Accidents and injuries

Your work may involve travelling to many places. As a contractor, having insurance in place can cover you for brushes with the unexpected, in the UK and beyond. If you’re an IT contractor, clients trust you with business-critical kit. Slip in the server room and you could damage hardware – and the owner may sue. Likewise, accountant contractors who onboard clients at home might be liable if a light fitting were to fall and cause injury. Including public liability insurance in your cover can help to offset such risks.

Technical problems

Your line of work may require expensive equipment and using this on the go could increase the risk of damage or theft. Perhaps you’re a trade contractor who uses specialist laser distance measures to get the job done, or a HR contractor who carries your business around in a laptop bag. Delays, complaints and upfront replacement costs are just some of the problems that can arise from equipment issues. Fortunately, contractor insurance can be customised to help with the cost of repair or replacement, helping you stay on track.

Loss of earnings

Accidents happen – at work and outside of it. Should you face a significant injury, whether it’s a fall on site or whiplash from a car accident, you might lose valuable business that you’d been counting on in your forecasting for the year. Adding personal accident insurance to your contractors’ policy can help with lost earnings due to injury.

What insurance is available for contractors?


Every contracting business has its own risk profile, so personal accident insurance, cyber and data cover and employers’ liability insurance may suit some professionals.

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Insurance for contractors: FAQs


How can I reduce the risk of a claim against me as a contractor?

Working as a contractor places you in an unusual position. For the duration of your contract, you may feel just like any other member of staff, but in legal terms, contractors and employees have different rights, responsibilities and levels of risk.

There are several things a contractor might do to reduce the risk of facing claims, such as checking contracts carefully prior to signing. Keeping copies could also be smart.

Clear communication may also help, including setting deliverables and timelines. Even simple steps, such as obtaining email confirmation, could protect you down the line. As a contractor, insurance provides another level of protection against the cost of a claim too.

Do I need proof of insurance to work as a contractor?

Proof of insurance is not necessarily essential for contractors since the law doesn’t stipulate rules for most types of cover.

However, some clients may request proof that you’re fully insured, and this could even be specified in a contract. This might be more likely if you’re working in a place where risks to the public are heightened, such as a building site near a main road.

Insurance can bring many benefits, including financial reassurance and reputational protection, so it may be a good idea to get cover even if there is no contractual obligation.

Do I need insurance before starting work as a contractor?

In business, things can go wrong at any time, so getting insurance before you start trading may provide welcome protection. You could arrive on site for your first day working as a contractor only to be met with an accident, theft or serious allegation.

Setting up as a contractor often involves a process of networking and relationship-building, which doesn’t usually carry business risk. If you’re still very much in the planning stage, then it might be beneficial to start some conversations before you lay down the paperwork.

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