Self-employed? Keep your insurance company in the loop.
When it comes to work, job options are more diverse than ever thanks to things like the sharing economy and digital freedom. Today more than ever, people are turning to the “gig economy.” Whether taking on a side job for some extra income or taking the leap towards being their own boss, there are some key things people need to consider to make sure things run smoothly.
It’s my car, home and time. Can’t I do what I want with them?
The short answer to this question is yes (as long as it’s legal!). That being said, the protection you need will vary based on what you’re doing. On the road a lot? Consider the higher chance of loss. Equipment such as tools and computers used for business purposes (including the gig economy) usually have limited coverage under most residential policies. Insurance isn’t one-size-fits-all, so when it comes to coverage, the things you do that could lead you to make a claim are part of the equation.
Balancing extra profits with extra responsibilities
When getting paid for doing something, we all want to do a good job and keep our customers happy. But sometimes things don’t go as planned and unexpected mishaps can arise. While not always serious, the biggest risk faced is liability, which can arise in situations such as:
- Injuring someone in a car accident
- Causing accidental damage while providing services
Put yourself in the shoes of a hairdresser for a moment (if you are a hairdresser, take note!). You have a flair for hair and your creativity knows no bounds. Imagine you’re being paid to do a bride’s hair for her wedding day. You think it looks amazing, but the bride absolutely hates it. Not only do you not get a tip, but a few weeks later you’re served a notice saying that you’re being sued for ruining the wedding and causing emotional distress. Whether you ruined the wedding or not will be up to the courts to decide. Regardless if you win or lose, you’ll need to defend yourself, and there will likely be expenses that come along with that. But not to worry, having proper malpractice insurance for your small business would not only give you peace of mind, it would also cover the costs you might incur as a consequence of the case.
In a recent case, a part time driver for a food delivery app had an accident while making a delivery. As it turns out, the driver hadn’t told their insurance company what they were doing. Food delivery is considered commercial vehicle use and is therefore not covered under a personal car insurance policy. As a result, the delivery driver ended up being financially responsible for all the costs related to the accident.
As more and more freelance jobs are created in the gig economy, gig workers need to remember that protecting themselves is their responsibility. Nobody wants to run into unexpected financial consequences as in the examples above, so it’s good to know that many insurers offer products designed to protect you in circumstances like these. When you work for yourself or as an independent contractor, finding the right insurance for you is key.
Insuring your gig or hustle is not as complicated as you think
The good news is that there’s a solution for every situation. Some situations call for full commercial and business insurance like any other business. Other situations may just need a simple amendment to your personal policy. This will grant permission for your business pursuits, and in some cases, there might not be any changes required at all! Your insurance agent can quickly and easily help you identify what you need and what you don’t in order to make sure you have the tools you need to be successful and properly protected in the event of the unforeseen. Call us so we can look into it!