I enjoy browsing the freelance sub-reddit, but it also leaves me frustrated. This is because a lot of the problems freelancers are writing about could be solved had they bought insurance. Sadly, the majority of those sharing their plights rarely have insurance.
At this point I’d love to contribute to the conversation on Reddit. I’d explain how insurance can help and point them to useful resources for further reading and examples. But I’m not allowed to.
There are strict rules on this sub-reddit and breaking them gets you banned. Oops. And so the majority of freelancers continue running their business with little knowledge about how insurance can protect them.
They vent in the echo chamber of the freelance sub-reddit, where other freelancers are also uneducated about insurance. As a result, nobody ever gets the solution they deserve.
Here’s one of the recent stories I read and how insurance could have helped.
A freelancer took on a full website build for a client. There was a contract in place, the client signed off major milestones and the project was completed on time. Sounds like a straightforward project.
It later emerged the client wasn’t happy with the work completed because it “wasn’t what they had expected”. This isn’t an uncommon problem with clients. I’ve seen this before with one of our own customers.
Sometimes the client misunderstands the spec or gets carried away with scope creep. Other times they’re straight up disappointed with the work.
The client asked for the project to be redone but for no additional fee. Understandably, the freelancer thought this was ridiculous and refused. They politely ended their working relationship.
In the freelancer’s eyes, the client has a fully functional website built to spec and ready in time for launch. In the client’s eyes, the delivered work wasn’t what they had envisioned.
It wasn’t long before verbal threats of legal action trickled in, but not before the client turned to social media to publically share their unhappiness.
Threats of legal action—whether verbal or in writing—are scary. When you buy professional indemnity insurance you have a team of legal experts that swoop in and handle things for you.
Their goal from this point is to reach an agreement with the client and prevent the situation from escalating. The costs of this are covered under the policy. If you’re a With Jack customer this starts at £14 per month.
It’s not just defence costs insurance can help with. There are various outcomes to prevent the situation from developing further. It’s unknown what agreement the lawyers and client would come to. It could be that the client is compensated for the cost of the project or just part of it.
Negotiations take place between the legal experts and the client, but compensation and damages could also be covered under the policy.
The insurer’s job is to resolve this quickly and prevent the situation from escalating. Either way, the freelancer isn’t out of pocket financially, and emotionally they feel supported with lawyers defending them.
Sound The Klaxon
This isn’t an uncommon story. Since launching With Jack we’ve facilitated over £50,000 in legal fees, compensation and unpaid invoices. This story is just another example of when insurance would help in a common situation faced by freelancers.
That’s why it’s important we share stories like this and get the message out. My job is to build a platform to share real stories and provide examples of how insurance could solve these problems. I’d urge you to share this story and help more freelancers get the protection they need.
Ashley is the woman behind Jack. A photographer, occasional public speaker and tinkerer of code, Ashley's aim is to simplify insurance. And deadlift 100KG.