A Guide to Contractor Insurance
A complex and once expensive area of contractor finance, many contractors are now looking at the various insurance policies which are available to protect you in the event of an accident at work, or claims against you for negligence. Chesterfield has teamed with contractor insurance specialists to help guide you through the maze.
IT contractors provide professional advice which is relied upon by others (clients). This means if you make a mistake in your work you have a direct financial responsibility to your client for the errors. Whilst you may consider the possibility remote, it does happen.
Increasingly, some clients are insisting on evidence of professional indemnity insurance and having this protection will prove to your clients that you are professional in your approach and will help in obtaining future work. Although mistakes are rare, these policies are now reasonably priced and will also provide peace of mind.
Provides financial protection for your company and is designed to meet the cost of defending claims made against you, including damages that may become payable. Claims can occur where a client suffers a financial loss as a result of alleged mistakes or omissions on your part. You may even be sued by a client who is merely dissatisfied, but has no valid claim, leading to substantial legal costs and time away from contracts. Of course, such claims are rare.
This type of policy will protect you against your legal liability where you accidentally cause damage or loss to someone else's property (Examples: Coffee down the back of the computer or over the keyboard, knocking a laptop or other piece of IT equipment off a desk etc). Also, if you accidentally cause injury to someone whilst working at a clients premises (Examples: You have cables running from various machines to a PC you are working on and someone does not notice and trips over and injures themselves).
Tax & VAT Investigation Insurance
Protects you in the event of an investigation by the tax authorities - more and more contractors are investing in this type of policy. This insurance typically includes protection against VAT disputes with HM Customs & Excise and employer compliance investigations (PAYE,NIC,P11D). This type of cover should not cost too much, although some financial advisors resell packages at a premium, so it's best to shop around.
Home Office / Equipment Insurance
Since more and more contractors are working from home, these types of policies are intended to cover the loss or damage to equipment, premises, documents in the event of theft, accidental damage or any other unforeseen circumstances.
How much do these policies cost?
Policies of this type are far less expensive than you may think, although the final cost will depend on your individual circumstances. The cost of individual polices tend to depend on the following factors:
- The annual turnover of a contractor's company
- The nature of your business operation