The freelance or “gig” economy has been rapidly growing in recent years, and the pandemic significantly accelerated this growth as more and more workers picked up freelance work to supplement dwindling incomes. The last decade has seen a significant shift towards freelance work for a variety of reasons: short-term work solutions, additional or supplemental income, or simply because it fills the flexible schedule needs of students, primary caregivers, and other workers who need extremely flexible working hours.
While freelancing has numerous benefits, it also presents challenges.Out of pocket expenses, unpredictable work volumes, inconsistent schedules, among other concerns- can be considered drawbacks. The biggest concern, however, for freelance and gig workers is the potential legal risks associated with working as an independent contractor.
If you are working in the gig or freelancing economy, it’s vital to take the necessary steps to protect yourself in the event of a legal issue. This means getting the kind of insurance coverage that will protect you, your family, and your future.
Let’s address the most relevant insurance policies for freelance and gig workers.
Personal accident insurance is absolutely vital to someone working for themselves. As a gig worker, there are many potentially dangerous situations you can be exposed to. Whether you’re delivering parcels on a bike, driving a car for a third party service, or even taking temporary work in some other scenario, you’ll want to be able to rely on insurance benefits if you’re involved in an accident. For this type of work, it’s crucial to have coverage for medical expenses, dental benefits, or in a worst-case scenario, a fixed indemnity.
General liability insurance covers the risks that affect almost any kind of business, no matter what your industry. General liability insurance is a good choice for small businesses and self-employed individuals, so it makes great sense for freelancers, gig workers, and independent contractors as well. General liability policies are the most common policies for small businesses and they’re typically the first policy purchased by new businesses. As a gig worker, you’re essentially the owner of your business, and you should take steps to protect yourself just as any business owner would.
Professional Liability (also known as errors & omissions).
Professional liability insurance Is a form of liability insurance that is designed to protect professional advice- and service-providing individuals or companies from bearing the full cost of defending against a negligence claim made by a client, and damages awarded in such a civil lawsuit. If your freelancing business works with clients in a way where they may take your advice or rely on your expertise to make decisions, you’ll want to have a professional liability policy. Freelance consultants, those who provide any legal or financial advice or services, anyone who handles stocks or real estate, and so on are examples of those who need an errors and omissions policy in their corner.
Workers’ Compensation Coverage
Workers’ compensation insurance, also known as workman’s comp, provides benefits to employees who get injured or sick from a work-related cause. As a freelance or gig worker, you will not have the benefit of being protected by a company workers’ compensation policy, so it’s wise to have one put in place for yourself in the event of an issue.
Temporary Incapacity Insurance
This is a wild time we’ve been living in, and anyone can get completely overwhelmed due to the mental and emotional stress of navigating difficult times. Gig economy jobs, like any traditional office or full-time business work, can be anxiety-inducing. Temporary Disability insurance can prove to be invaluable in the event that someone needs to take time for a mental health or physical health break. Temporary Disability Insurance provides cash benefits to workers who have to stop working due to a physical or mental health condition or other disability unrelated to their work.
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