“I’ve been in business for 10 years and have never had a problem.”
“I haven’t experienced that in the past, so I won’t experience it in the future” is deeply flawed logic.
Maybe you’ve been driving for years and have never had an accident, but you still buckle when in a vehicle to protect yourself if a bump does happen.
You can control your own actions in terms of the quality of the work you produce and timescale you deliver it to, but you don’t have control over other elements of the project. You can’t control your client’s expectations or their behaviour and this is where a lot of problems stem from.
Life is unpredictable. Business is unpredictable. You never know what kind of clients you’ll work with, the dynamic between you both, or what external factors can cause problems.
For £14 a month you’re giving yourself a better chance of handling unexpected situations.
“I use a contract so I don’t need insurance”
This is probably the most common misunderstanding. I’m here to tell you that contracts don’t alleviate you of liability.
They’re useful for laying the foundation of what duties are expected of both parties, but insurance steps into action when those duties come into question. Which they often do! Payment disputes, arguments around copyright or IP ownership, issues with payment… these are just a few common contract disputes.
With situations that do escalate to legal action there is often a contract in place. Whilst contracts can help you defend yourself they don’t stop a client from making a claim against you. In fact, if the contract is accidentally breached you’re leaving yourself vulnerable to claims being brought against you.
It’s not binary. It’s not one or the other. You should have a contract and you should have insurance.
“There’s not much liability associated with my work”
This one I understand because the benefits of business insurance aren’t always upfront or tangible. It can be challenging to find stories of how freelancers used their insurance to help them.
However, professional indemnity insurance is useful to any freelancer who provides a service to clients.
- Late delivery of a project leading to a missed milestone
- Scope creep leading to the goalposts of the project shifting and client expectations not being met
- Terminating a project early leading to a strained client relationship
Every freelancer providing a service to a client can miss a project deadline or fail to meet client expectations. That’s where the liability is and it’s your professional duty to be in the best possible position to handle that.