For many individuals, the choice to ‘go freelance’ presents many benefits – being your own boss, flexible working hours, and control over work/life balance all carry undeniable appeal. But with these benefits also come certain challenges and responsibilities. Social isolation and lack of security may be frequently cited as negative aspects of self-employment, but one aspect which tends to be overlooked is commercial insurance.
It may be easy to forget that, as an employee, the responsibility for the services you provide rests with your employer, as does the requirement to carry insurance. An individual exiting a professional firm to begin operations on a self-employed basis no longer enjoys this benefit. Getting the right insurance in place may be confusing, can come as an unexpected expense, and may be viewed as an unwelcome burden.
Recent independent research conducted by Qdos in conjunction with Research in Insurance, has suggested that almost a third of self-employed individuals do not carry insurance, leaving their business unprotected from a number of risks.
Organisations that provide support to professionals and specialists are uniquely positioned to assist their members who choose to operate on a freelance basis. Giving members sound guidance on insurance matters, and access to insurance products that will meet their needs is extremely valuable.
In some cases, those operating small businesses may not have given due consideration to their insurance requirements. In looking to uphold industry standards, it is important for trade bodies to take a proactive approach to ensuring their members (and by extension the businesses and members of the public they serve) are adequately protected. Working with insurance providers to establish guidelines, and ensure access to suitable products, benefits the industry as a whole.
In other cases, insurance can be seen as unaffordable, particularly for a new start up. As with any product, the power of bulk purchasing allows for significant discounting. By including insurance within membership fees, and/or by partnering with an insurance provider, trade bodies and affinity groups are able to help reduce the cost of insurance for individual members.
If you would like to discuss insurance arrangements for your members, or to review your current insurance arrangements, please get in touch.
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