Do Freelance Designers Really Need Insurance?







Insurance is one of those things you don’t want to think about (let alone shell out money for), but is exactly the thing you find yourself turning to when catastrophe strikes. And when you consider the sheer scope of insurance types (health, auto, home/renters, pet), it’s possible to reach a saturation point and say “no more”, even if it means leaving out something crucial.

Don't Settle On Your Health Insurance Just Because You're A Freelancer
Don’t Settle On Your Health Insurance Just Because You’re A Freelancer

If your freelance designing is a successful home business, or you have one of the many online jobs, then you may need freelancer insurance

Some freelancers out there may not even realize that such a thing as “freelancer insurance” even exists, but rest assured, it certainly does. Freelancer insurance is liability insurance to protect you from pitfalls associated with your vocation, specifically in this case, freelance designing (or other similar creative-based services). Here are some things to take into consideration.

Do You Have Equipment And A Physical Site Dedicated To Your Design Work?
There’s Business Owners Insurance, which covers things like damage to particularly specialized equipment (like high-tech camera equipment), data storage, and medical coverage for people visiting your site. But probably this doesn’t apply to most freelancers, so let’s move on.

Do You Have Regular Home/Renter’s Insurance?

10 Tips for Saving Money as a Freelancer
10 Tips for Saving Money as a Freelancer

Having insurance is a good thing. Having redundant insurance is a waste of money. Insurance carriers offer freelancers General Liability Insurance. This brand of insurance covers third party medical bills, property damage, libel and slander that come from your written or spoken words, and data loss. But the fact is, if you run a business out of your home, like for instance you’re a freelance designer with a home office, your home owner’s insurance most likely covers medical and property damage liabilities.

Is Your Reputation The One Sole Thing Of Value That Requires Most Protection?

Reputation Management: How It Affects Your Freelance Career
Reputation Management: How It Affects Your Freelance Career

Lost data can be recovered. A laptop that falls off the desk can be repaired or replaced. Heck, a broken bone or a sprained ankle will eventually heal. But the one commodity you have that is completely intangible but can really cost you if it gets attacked is your reputation.

Freelance designers may want to consider getting what’s known as Professional Liability Insurance, alternately referred to as Errors and Omissions Insurance. This insurance covers you against punitive damages, work-related libel or slander claims, negligence claims, awarded damages and legal defense costs, and claims involving sub-contracting.

If your business has you moving in heavy-hitting circles with big-money clients, particularly corporate clients with meticulously laid-out guidelines and legal restrictions, you may want to consider Professional Liability Insurance.

Let’s Face It …

Understanding freelancing insurance + do you need it?
Understanding freelancing insurance + do you need it?

If you have a small freelance design business that operates out of your house, and people don’t visit you where you work, and your equipment inventory can be summed up with a short list that includes a MacBook and an expensive digital camera, then odds are, you don’t need any kind of freelance insurance. Especially if your residence (and your stuff that you keep in said residence) is already covered by insurance.

But if you run with the big dogs and their big legal departments, and have lots of specialized (read: expensive!) equipment and frequent visits from clients and such, then you need Professional Liability Insurance. At least on the up side, if you’re playing in the big sand box, you’re probably also making considerably more money, and thus you’re better able to handle the extra financial burden/investment that such an insurance policy brings with it.

In any case, consult your insurance agent to discuss all your options.

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About the Author

John Terra

John Terra

John Terra has been a freelance writer since 1985. He amuses himself by imagining camels, pigs, and apron-wearing agents from auto insurance companies trying to pitch professional liability insurance to freelancers.



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