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Top tips for buying contractor insurance

When you first start contracting, it can be difficult to know what insurance you'll need. Here's some things to think about:

Checklist with ticks

 

  1. Ensure you know which types of cover (Professional Indemnity, Public Liability, Employers Liability) and cover limits (£M) are required by your client.
  2. Check whether your provider offers additional support from experienced staff - it can make a big difference in the event of a claim.
  3. Can you change your cover easily, mid-term, if you change contracts or need additional insurance? Are you able to update your personal details without additional fees?
  4. Could you complete the whole process quickly and easily online?
  5. Will the insurer deliver your documents quickly? (Useful if you've left it to the last minute...)
  6. Is the documentation easy to understand, or does it use lots of complex jargon? If you don't understand it, how can you be sure it's suitable for your needs?
  7. Ensure you have continuous cover in place - claims can arise after the end of your contract.

For contractors, your insurance needs are often dictated by your client and the protection they feel comfortable with.  Professional Indemnity insurance covers you against any alleged shortcomings in your work.  Public Liability protects you against personal injury or property damage you may cause while delivering your services.  Employers Liability covers you if you need to send a substitute when you are unable to work.  Employers often ask for all 3 insurances.

We know you need your insurance arranged quickly and, often, with little notice.  Our online ‘quote and buy’ system can email you insurance documents in as little as ten minutes, although we would always recommend applying early just in case your application needs longer to process.  (Certain types of work, operating overseas or an unusually turnover are just 3 of the factors that may prompt an underwriter to take a closer look).

You should always keep Professional Indemnity insurance in place after your contract in case issues with your work are discovered after your contract ends.  (Professional Indemnity insurance only covers you for claims made during your policy period, regardless of when the work was carried out.)

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