If you’re a freelancer or work as an independent contractor for various employers and clients, it’s common that employers and clients expect you to have insurance. Don’t be surprised when a client, especially if they’re a large corporation, requests proof of your professional liability insurance policy. They may also ask that you have general liability insurance, cybersecurity insurance, and other policies.
It’s frustrating to add another monthly expense. However, having insurance is a cost of doing business. The right insurance policies also protect your business in case the worst arises.
Your insurance policies help employers and clients mitigate their business’ risks, fulfill their legal and financial requirements, and adhere to compliance burdens. This article goes in-depth about these topics to explain why employers and clients want you to have the right insurance policies ready.
Little to no assets to their name or their business’ name. In this case, the client can’t realistically sue them because there’s no money or assets to claim against. If they do, the client will only end up with legal fees and no damage award.
Legal and Financial Requirements
You face many legal and financial requirements as a freelancer. Your clients do too. Part of your client/employer’s legal and financial needs may be to ensure that you have the proper insurance policies ready.
There could be numerous reasons for this. On the legal side, your clients’ contracts with other parties could require them to only contract with insured freelancers. So, hiring an uninsured freelancer would violate these agreements.
There could also be financial needs. Businesses often have strict budgets or revenue targets. If your mistakes throw a wrench in their budget or revenue goals, your insurance may be able to pay damages to them so that the employer or client can maintain their financial requirements.
Large companies, and commonly small ones, have many standardized procedures, which require complicated compliance. This compliance can come as a standardized contract or as technological and cybersecurity compliance policies.
If a company frequently hires freelancers, they likely use a standardized contract for hire. Standardized contracts protect the client’s business because they understand the ins and outs of their contract. They likely also drafted the contract to their benefit. Sometimes, the client is open to negotiating on the terms, but other times, they may not.
If this standardized contract includes a provision that requires you to have insurance (which is common), it may be hard to get your client to waive that provision. You may need to reduce your price or give up something in return. In this scenario, you could be better off having the proper insurance policies instead.
Many businesses also have various technology and cybersecurity compliance measures that their employees must meet. These measures usually extend to freelancers. Suppose a company’s databases have sensitive information about clients or their own employees. If you or an employee accesses these databases from an unsecured network or computer, it could jeopardize the security of this information.
Although the business’ insurance may cover their full-time employees if there’s a breach, the client’s policy may leave out any freelancers they hire. As a result, the client requires that you have your own cybersecurity or professional liability insurance. So, suppose a hacker steals this information. In that case, an insurer is ready to pay damages regardless of whether it was your computer or network or a full-time employee.
Employers and clients more frequently require freelancers to have proof of insurance. You may not think that the risks are severe but having an insurance policy is part of the cost of doing business. It’s a good idea to set yourself up with the right policies instead of scrambling at the last minute when an employer or client asks for proof that you’re insured.
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