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Compare contractor insurance

Compare contractor insurance

If you’re self-employed as a contractor or you run a contracting business, you’ll be focused on delivering over and above your client’s expectations.

As careful and professional as you may be, accidents can happen and having the right insurance is vital to maintaining relationships with your clients and keeping your great reputation.

Tom Harrison
Content writer
minute read
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Posted 2 DECEMBER 2019

What insurance might you need?

Exactly what types and levels of insurance you need depends on what type of contractor you are as well as what type of contract skills you are delivering.

In general terms though, you need to cover yourself and your business against claims that might arise against you and your work.

To start with, there are three different types of liability insurance for you to think about.

Public liability insurance

If you work anywhere that you may come into contact with the public or clients directly you should consider public liability cover. Public liability insurance provides protection against third party property damage or injury as a result of your negligence at work. It won’t cover you, however, for your faulty workmanship. For example if you are working at a site using your laptop and a member of the public or client, trips over the wire and hurts themselves this could cover you against any potential claims for personal injury damages.

Employers liability insurance

The next liability type is employers’ liability insurance. This is a compulsory form of insurance for any business that has employees, including labour only sub-contractors, under their direction, control supervision or that supplies tools or materials to. Employer’s liability provides cover for negligence claims against you should your staff get injured or become ill due to their work and hold you responsible.

Professional indemnity insurance

The third type of liability insurance you may want to get in place as a contractor is professional indemnity insurance (PI). It provides cover for the cost of defending damages or compensation claims that are made against you by your clients for errors and omissions, which arise out of breach of your professional duties when giving advice or providing design.

For example, if you’ve been employed as an IT contractor for a software implementation project and the project fails to function due to your design or training, you could be held liable. If an angry client decides to sue you or your small company for negligence, the bills could be crippling. PI insurance could cover the legal costs and any associated damages.

Alternatively, if you’re hired to offer advice, for example an accountant or a HR professional, it’s important to consider what happens if your advice is wrong. Worst case, your client might sue you. A PI policy could cover you for defending action brought against you.

What should you do?

Your first step should be to try and limit problems in the first place. We know this sounds obvious but we also know that mistakes do happen. There might be some things you can do in your business that help to reduce the risk of legal action.

As a contractor:

  • Always check the contract

Don’t be put off by long and complicated contracts: read every clause and make sure you’re happy. Don’t sign it if you’re not. Keep copies of all your contracts.

  • Make sure deliverables are clear

Some projects might start with deliverables that are unclear. As a contractor, liable for the delivery of items, you shouldn’t accept that staying the case. Check the project specifications and confirm you can deliver them.

  • Set milestones and sign offs

On larger projects, break the work down into smaller chunks and insist that your client signs off on them when they are happy. Keep copies of documentation of any positive results being approved.

  • Make notes of meeting outcomes

Keep your own set of notes and minutes of contact you have with your client. Pay attention for anything that affects your ability to deliver on your project and address issues in writing with your client.

  • Agree things by email

You may get on great with your client and trust them when they tell you to ‘just get on with it’. That’s fine but also insist on confirming by email. A paper trail is a good way to ensure that you’ve done what was asked of you.

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

Compare prices and get insurance

Finding competitive liability insurance isn’t complicated. In fact, you can do it right here, right now. Use our public liability or employers’ liability comparison services or fill out the professional indemnity enquiry form to find the right deal for you. Protect your business with comprehensive liability insurance cover. Compare with us today.

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