Insuring Your Future as a Contractor

After all your efforts to create and promote your business, nurturing it into reality, it is important to ensure that it continues to provide for you and your family.

Insurance is hardly the most exciting subject to think about, but it is important nonetheless and everybody is different; you may not have an office to take care of, or you may not have a family that you would leave behind with bills to pay if a devastating accident should happen. Whether you are just starting out or are a veteran contractor, at some point, some consideration should be taken to risk assessing your business and getting to grips with the insurances available to you should you wish to cover them.

Your standard business insurances (Professional Indemnity and Public & Employers Liability Insurance) aside, what could possibly go wrong with your business?

Tax Troubles.
Although you might do everything in your power to ensure that you pay all the correct taxes where they apply and heed to the rules of the IR35 legislation, there is always the possibility of an enquiry from HMRC or that you actually made a mistake. If you went through an enquiry and were found to owe backdated taxes, the unexpected bill could be crippling for your business. It could seriously affect your cash flow to the point of having to close the company or worse-case scenario, bankruptcy.
There are a number of tax insurances on the market. Qdos offer a tax defence insurance which offers professional representation should HMRC open an enquiry into your accounts and covers from the very start when HMRC send you an opening letter. Alternatively, if it is IR35 you are particularly concerned about, we also offer a fully comprehensive IR35 policy which includes tax defence for any HMRC enquiry as well as cover for the tax bill you could be charged with if you lost an IR35 case, penalties and interest included (limits apply).

Office Problems.
Not every contractor owns an office, in fact most don’t need one and simply work out of home or their client’s premises. For those that do, damages to your premises or office equipment could be costly and unplanned large expenses can be incredibly harming for any small business. If you own your own office, make sure you take out some protection insurance. Qdos’ Office Protect Insurance will cover your business premises and its contents but also includes Public and Employer’s Liability Insurance so you don’t need to purchase a separate policy.

Gadget Glitches.
There are so many gadgets these days that have become essential for not only personal use but your everyday business operations as well. Laptops, tablets, mobile phones and so on all play their part in your daily contracting life so it is a nightmare when things go wrong with them. A broken gadget is unlikely to bring your business crashing to its knees but as policies tend to be fairly inexpensive, Qdos Gadget Insurance may be worth considering.

Health Worries.
Even if you are the kind of person who hits the gym before their day of contracting and skips the pint after work for a healthy dinner, poor health can hit at any time and it might not happen to you, it could be to a member of your family. Illness can seriously take its toll on your body, your mind and even your business. Without sick pay from an employer, any time off work is a loss of income and if you have to add on hospital bills, a prolonged illness can cause serious problems. Qdos offer a sickness insurance which provides a replacement income if you were to fall ill for over 30 days. Alternatively, you may wish to consider life insurance and/or private health care insurance.

Legal Complications.
When running a business, there are a number of legalities that you may not even be aware of. For example, with every signed contract you are entering into a legally binding agreement which, if you break or are alleged to have broken, can lead to a lawsuit. Qdos offer a legal protection policy which will pay for the costs of such a claim, including legal representation, for a variety of different legal matters, and even includes jury service protection as well, so you can continue to earn even if you are called up.

These are of course, all ifs and buts and potential scenarios. Assess your own needs and decide whether insuring any of these different aspects of your business might be right for you. Remember to check the terms and conditions and shop around for different prices and policies before settling.

By:Jane Hailstone

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