Public Liability Insurance for Freelancers

If you are working independently as a freelancer, you’re certainly not alone. It’s estimated that well over 4 million people in the UK are now self-employed - that’s about 15% of all workers.


As a freelancer, potentially juggling many jobs at once, insurance may not be at the top of your list of priorities. Let’s face it, everyone naturally feels confident in the quality of the service they provide. However, mistakes and accidents happen and you could face incurring significant costs to defend yourself against any allegations or pay legal fees.


That’s where having the right liability insurance in place comes in.

What insurance do freelancers need?

Your exact cover requirements will be based upon your actual occupation, trade or profession. In general terms there are three types of liability insurance that you should consider.

Public Liability Insurance for Freelancers

Professional Indemnity Insurance

For professions providing advice or design one of the most important types of cover to arrange is professional indemnity insurance (PI). It can protect you against the cost of defending compensation claims that are made against you by your customers if they suffered financial loss as a result of your negligent advice, service or design you supplied them with.

Whether you’re to blame or not, you will still need to defend the claim made against you and legal bills can add up fast. Additionally, if the loss claim went against you, you could be saddled with expensive compensation fees.

Public Liability Insurance

If your customers or members of the public can access your place of work, you should also consider public liability insurance . This form of insurance can protect you against the cost of defending claims for accidental damages or bodily injuries that occur to third parties because of your negligence at work. For example, your customer may trip over a piece of equipment you forgot to collect and hurt themselves.

When assessing you cover requirements you must give details of any non-manual sales trips and importantly of any manual work activities undertaken away from your own premises. You'll need to be covered for any accidental damage or injury that occurs.

Importantly you need to give details of the type of premises you work at, in, or on, particularly if these are at 'Hazardous Locations' or involve hazardous activities or processes/materials.

Insurance providers will be particularly interested of any processes involving the application of heat, dangerous substances or work at height / depth. 

Employers’ Liability Insurance

The final type of liability insurance is employers’ liability insurance . This is a compulsory form of insurance for anyone who employs staff, including temporary or agency workers. It can cover you for claims should those employees hurt themselves or become ill due to work they carried out for you.

What should you do?

You should always try to limit problems in the first place. We know this sounds obvious as mistakes and accidents do happen. That said, there are some things you can do to help reduce the risk of your business facing a claim.

As part of your Health and Safety considerations you should complete Risk Assessments of all activities and processes in order to reduce accidents in the workplace. Further details can be obtained from the HSE

As a freelancer, it makes sense for you to put in place a contract wherever possible. If you’re presented with one by a client, read every clause and make sure you’re happy with each section. Don’t sign it if you’re not. Keep copies of all your contracts.

It’s key to make sure that deliverables are clear and agreed. If the piece of work is large or is expected to go on for a period of time, it is sensible to set milestones with agreed sign offs by the client and possibly arrange stage payments too.

Make sure you confirm everything in writing even if it’s in addition to something you’ve already arranged verbally. It’s important to keep a paper trail in case things go wrong later.

Finally, make sure you take out insurance cover to ensure you and your business are protected.

Compare prices and get insurance

Finding professional liability insurance isn’t complicated. In fact, you can do it right here, right now. Use our enquiry forms and we’ll help you compare professional indemnity, public and employers’ liability covers from a host of insurance providers. Protect your business with the right business insurance for you.

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