If you make your living as an independent consultant, you’re likely a go-getter by nature. Working for yourself means enjoying all the perks of being self-employed — while also shouldering all the responsibilities of running your own business. Instead of answering to a boss, you are the boss. You’re in charge of making the decisions that affect your livelihood every day.
For all the upsides of operating as an independent consultant — flexibility, autonomy, and the potential to make more money than you would as an employee — there are challenges, too. You’re representing yourself in every client interaction and every job you perform. If a legal issue arises, there’s no employer behind you with a team of lawyers and insurance agents ready to clean up the financial mess. In other words, you are solely responsible for safeguarding your own business against risk.
Protecting Yourself with Insurance for Independent Consultants
Insurance for independent consultants is a good place to start. General liability insurance will protect your independent consulting business against financial fallout stemming from third-party bodily injury, property damage, and advertising and personal injury to others. This basic coverage is an important protection to carry if you visit client’s homes or workplaces, or if they visit yours. Having coverage can mean the difference between paying for a liability lawsuit out of pocket vs. your insurance policy covering the fees associated with medical expenses and other costly setbacks.
Another compelling reason to get general liability insurance for independent consultants sooner rather than later is because many clients will ask to see a Certificate of Insurance before signing any contracts with you. Carrying $1 or $2 million in liability insurance is one way to convey professionalism and confidence to clients during the pitching process.
So, what types of independent consultants need insurance? Here are just five examples of many — if you don’t see your profession on this list, you should still look into getting a policy. Providers like Thimble offer flexible coverage by the hour, day, week, month, or year, depending on the nature of your work.
After years of working a nine-to-five job as a graphic designer for a big company, you’re excited to branch out on your own as an independent consultant for hire. You just signed your first contract, and everything seems to be going well.
You head over to your client’s office to show off your first round of logo mockups — and then it happens. You accidentally knock your large coffee onto the keyboard of your client’s brand new 15-inch business laptop. Now they’re asking you to pay several thousand dollars to replace it.
For accidents like these, liability insurance for designers will cover the costs of property damage — saving you from having to pay out of pocket.
Business and Management Consultants
A rapidly growing business wants to bring you on as a consultant to help them scale up their operations. You’ve made it to the final pool of candidates they’re considering hiring. You have all the credentials necessary to stand out as the right person for the job—almost.
The business decides to go with someone who is able to show them a Certificate of Insurance on the spot. The lesson here? Many clients will require consultants they hire to carry a minimum amount of liability insurance. Skipping out on a policy can cost you job opportunities or thousands of dollars if an accident occurs while you’re working without coverage.
The same situation can happen to any type of consultant, which is why there’s consultant insurance to cover management consultants, marketing consultants, financial consultants, etc.
Photographers & Videographers
Photography and videography are high-energy professions that involve a lot of expensive equipment and frequent changes of scenery. This makes it exciting, as you never quite know what the day will bring. But it also creates conditions ripe for unpredictable events.
You’re taking family portraits in your studio when, behind you, one of the kiddies trips over a power cord and takes a spill. The parents call you after a visit to the emergency room — the little tyke has a fractured forearm. They are demanding you pay the medical bills and compensate them for the time they have to take off work to bring him to the doctor because the accident occurred in your studio.
Liability insurance for photographers can help cover costs and associated expenses, which can actually head off an even costlier lawsuit before it occurs.
As a freelance writer, you’re responsible for making sure every client pays you in full and on time. Unfortunately, sometimes this means you’re chasing paychecks. After a frustrating few weeks of sending follow-up emails, you take to a social media group for other freelancers warning them to avoid Publication X because it will not pay you in a timely manner.
The legal team at Publication X gets wind of the post you’ve written and decides to sue you for libel. A lawsuit like this could get very expensive; even if the verdict comes back in your favor, you’ll still have to hire a lawyer. Take the proactive route by carrying General Liability insurance, which covers independent consultants for advertising and personal injury.
Your client is walking through your home showroom looking at different paint colors. You’re deep in conversation about which accent color would pair best with their new living room walls when your client slips on an errant swatch of fabric, twisting their knee in the process. They end up needing a trip to urgent care and a knee brace, as well as some physical rehabilitation.
A General Liability insurance policy would cover medical expenses in this scenario — and, by doing so, possibly head off an even costlier lawsuit.
These five types of independent consultants who need insurance are just the start. Looking to safeguard your small business against a financial catastrophe with general liability insurance? Get a quote from Thimble today!