What is the right Insurance for self-employed professionals?

Whether you run a business with employees or work on a freelance basis, as a self-employed professional you are vulnerable to common business risks and will, therefore, require the same protection. Primarily, liability cover for work with the public, contractual obligations, cyber threats and in some cases, employee wellbeing.

Specialised self-employed insurance is tailored to cover you for the potential risks that self-employed professionals face from day-to-day.

Why do I need public liability insurance as a self-employed professional?

For the self-employed, public liability insurance is not mandatory by law but is often a contractual requirement. Your clients may want to ensure you have adequate protection in the event of an accident involving them or a third party.

You may question whether you need public liability insurance, as it may be the case that you don’t deal with the general public on a frequent basis, but as a self-employed professional, you undoubtedly have customers or clients of some variety.

If, to provide an example of a liability claim, you cause an accident in a client’s office, such as spilling a cup of coffee over a computer or leaving laptop cables across a pathway causing someone to trip, you could be liable for any damage or injury caused. That client could sue you for compensation as you have a duty to ensure the environment in which you work poses no harm to members of the public.

Specialised self-employed public liability insurance will cover you for the legal costs incurred in defending the claim and the costs you may need to pay as compensation to the person making a claim.

If the worst should happen, liability cover will help you deal with the legal costs of a claim and ensure that your freelance work can continue without interuption. This cover is available to sole traders as part of our specialist policies.

You may not be sure about what level of self-employed liability insurance to buy, but we can help determine the level of risk your self-employed business is likely to encounter, ensuring that the liability cover you receive is appropriate.


Related FAQ: Do I need public liability insurance for my home business?


Call on 0800 2800 351 Mon - Fri, 8am to 7pm, Sat, 9am to 2pm excluding bank holidays.

Additional types of insurance for the self-employed

Alongside public liability insurance, professionals working for themselves should consider the following types of self-employed business insurance. Depending on the risks you are exposed to in your line of work, some or all of the following business insurance covers may suit you:

Professional indemnity insurance

Professional indemnity insurance can protect you and your business against the cost of settling or defending a client’s claim where there’s a problem with the work you’ve done for them. As a freelancer, the financial consequences of a client suing for negligence or substandard work could be crippling for your business. Professional indemnity insurance can help to cover the cost of legal action and settling a claim.

Employers’ liability insurance

If you hire one or more employees, employers’ liability insurance is a legal requirement for most businesses in the UK. This form freelancers' insurance covers the cost of defending or settling an employee’s claim that they have suffered bodily injury or disease as a result of the work they do for you. It covers the legal and compensation costs for these claims.

Office contents insurance

Whether you work from home or a separate business premises, office contents insurance is designed to protect a business's equipment, such as computers, furniture, and documents. It can cover against risks such as theft, fire and water damage, even if the possessions are temporarily away from the workplace.


Start your business award 2017

Winner 8 years running

Reasons to get the right cover:

  • A claim could be made against you even if you don’t have people visiting you on your work premises. For example, if you were to accidentally damage a client’s property in their office or even their home. 
  • The ‘no win, no fee’ culture means that it was never been easier for people to bring claims for compensation against businesses. This essentially means that people may be more likely to take a stab at making a claim for compensation even if their chances are slim, because the cost to them will be minimal. 
  • Many companies and organisations will also insist on their suppliers and freelance partners having public liability cover in place.
  • Anyone you employ could be the cause of a public liability claim being brought against your business, so there are more than just your own actions to consider.

Personal accident insurance for self employed

As somebody who is self-employed, it’s possible that your business may not be able to continue as usual if you were to suffer from an injury that leaves you unable to work. Personal accident insurance can protect your business financially during this time, by providing a weekly pay-out to make up for loss of income and to help with the cost of support staff or retraining.

Cyber and data risk insurance

Both individuals and businesses alike can fall victim to cyber-crime. Cyber and data risk insurance can support you financially if you were to suffer a cyber-attack, by providing cover for the cost of data recovery, ransom payments, reputation management, loss of business and more.

Other self-employed insurance covers

As well as the above mentioned, there are various additional forms of cover that you may want to consider if you're persuing a freelance career.

Hiscox UK

Rated 4.7 out of 5 for satisfied customer service

2807 reviews

Get a public liability insurance quote online

  • Award-winning claims service
  • Immediate coverage and documentation
  • No admin fees if you amend your policy

Need more help? Speak to our UK-based experts. Call us on 0800 2800 351

Get an online quote for your business

  • Award-winning claims service
  • Immediate coverage and documentation
  • No admin fees if you amend your policy

Need more help? Speak to our UK-based experts. Call us on 0800 2800 351

Mon - Fri, 8am - 7pm, Sat, 9am to 2pm. Calls are free from a landline and some mobile contracts.