The Public Liability Insurance Blog

The things competing for your time and attention as a freelancer

I want to tell you, oh brave freelancer, that you need insurance. That’s because right now it’s pretty much my job to tell you that. I’m writing lots of blog content for YOUR Insurance and frequently talking about how useful public liability insurance and business insurance in general is, no matter who you are, so there is definitely a compulsion here to spread the word.

laptop hand With today being national freelancer day, it got me thinking about my own experiences. As well as wanting to push the insurance angle, I also want to tell you that I understand. I have been a full time freelancer, albeit not one with runaway success, and I know what it’s like. I know that you have lots of things competing for your attention and the contents of your wallet. In fact, I often feel my personal definition of freelancing felt uncomfortably close to "just plain unemployed" half the time.

No matter how valuable insurance might be for you, there’s no escaping the fact that the following things will also be ranking pretty high in your list of priorities.

Food and bills

Food. Such a luxury. Making sure you have enough money to pay for the roof over your head and to fund the occasional sandwich will be most people’s number one priority, unless freelancing is more of an eccentric hobby for you rather than a career path.

Tax

Just when you think everything is balancing out and you’re on top of things, you suddenly realise that tax-return is looming and might take a little bit more time to fill out than you expected. Instead of a single evening, tracking down your receipts and remittance advice can take much longer than anticipated.

You might even have discovered a couple of your clients haven’t settled their debts with you which is both frustrating and slightly exciting as you realise you might have some more money coming your way but that you’re going to have to chase after it.

Every year freelancers everywhere say to themselves that they will start keeping better records next year, but every year the frantic tax documents shuffle repeats itself.

Actual work

working from home If you are to survive in such a competitive and hostile market, you need to actually put the hours in and do the work you are commissioned to do at a high standard. It sounds like a ridiculous thing to make a comment on, but never underestimate just how much time work can take up – both in those core hours you might keep and during the rest of your usual work routine where you find yourself continually think about and obsessing over what you have left to do.

Freelancing can lead to a very muddled work-life divide, doubly so if you’re working from home. The benefit is that you can work when you chose, but the downside is that sometimes your choices are illusory.

The insurance sting

Money wise, you might have fat months but you’ll also definitely have thin months and your time is a resource to be carefully managed. With the persistent bills and food fund and the certainty of the taxman pestering you for more of your hard earned cash, what makes insurance valuable to a freelancer?

With an often precarious balance between comfort and desolation, insurance can help you out when something does its level best to utterly throw off that balance. Serious incidents demand time and money – two things that you won’t always have an ample supply of, so paying a small premium (and if you’re at a point where you don’t think you can even afford insurance, it is likely to be very small) to stop this from being an issue could be invaluable.

Professional indemnity insurance will cover you if you slip up with something like a breach of confidentiality, copyright infringement or several other civil liabilities and insurance to cover your home-office will make sure you’re not held hostage to something affecting your home.

If something happens, it will set you back. This is always true, but as a freelancer, you might find it a little more of a challenge to bounce back. Insurance gives you peace of mind that your brave choice of career is protected and just takes away that faint worry that you might not realise is chirping up intermittently in the back of your head.

YOUR Insurance specialises in public liability insurance for small and medium sized businesses involved in several trades and professions. You can compare quotes for your business online, or call one of our advisors on 0800 107 8949.