business insurance can cover you for legal expenses

A simple guide to business insurance for freelancers and contractors

Posted on 26th November 2019 by

business insurance can cover you for legal expenses

The inexorable growth of the freelancer and contractor market sector in recent years has provided a massive boost for the UK’s economy, which has given rise to many different insurances for freelancers and contractors. We highlight a few of the key policies to consider.

Self-employment in the UK stands at 4.96 million (as of July 2019), with recent growth in the market far outstripping the growth in employment overall in the first quarter of 2019.

The number of self-employed workers grew by 90,000 from January to March 2019, then grew again by 120,000 from April to June 2019. At this rate that’s a growth of 400,000 approximately for a calendar year.

People are pursuing their passions and starting their own small freelance businesses at an increasing rate every year, yet many begin trading without vital business insurance protection. Some aren’t even aware of the consequences of being self-employed without insurance.

We’ve put together a bite-size list for you to reference of freelance insurance policies that you as a self-employed person can benefit from, and why.


1. Professional Indemnity Insurance

PI cover is a key insurance policy for most professionals. If you provide advice, consultancy and/or designs for clients, then you will need this type of insurance protection in place.

Cover is relatively inexpensive but can save you a lot of money in the long run, especially if a client makes a claim against you alleging negligence in your work resulting in them losing revenue.

2. Public Liability Insurance

Just because you are working from home doesn’t mean you don’t need this type of cover. If you hold client meetings on your own premises, whether it’s in your office or your home, you need to carry PL cover.

PL insurance will provide cover if something you do causes injury or other loss to a colleague or a member of the public. As an example; a visitor to your business premises (this could be your home office) could trip on a mat and suffer an injury. Or you could be working at a client’s premises and spill a drink on a computer resulting in them pursuing compensation for any repair costs incurred.

Click here for a quick online business insurance quote

3. Legal Expenses Insurance with Contract Review

Also known as Tax Enquiry & Legal Expenses Insurance, this policy is not widely known, but is a type of cover that Caunce O’Hara are renowned for as expert providers.

Caunce O’Hara’s Legal Expenses insurance will provide you with £100,000 of cover (any one claim) for legal representation costs incurred during the course of a tax investigation brought against you.

Coverage is broad and can help with the following:

  • Employment disputes
  • Employment compensation awards
  • Property and landlord and tenant disputes
  • Criminal defence
  • Tax protection
  • Regulatory compliance
  • Court attendance costs
  • Employment extra protection
  • Identity theft
  • Contract disputes

The Contract Review is undertaken by our key partners who are tax experts. If you are in any doubt as to the validity and compliance of your contract, especially in view of IR35 legislation, then the Contract Review can provide you with the clarity you need.

The Contract Review, when concluded by tax experts, will provide you with a IR35 “Pass” or “Fail”. You will receive a detailed report which considers both your contractual terms and working practices based on case law and unbiased opinion.

The Contract Review is priced at only £60.00 per contract and is available when purchased with a Tax Enquiry & Legal Expenses policy. It could help to save you thousands of pounds if you are the subject of a tax investigation and found to be working inside IR35.

4. Portable Equipment Insurance

If you are a freelance contractor who works on the move, ie: you spend most of your working days copywriting in cafes and co-working spaces, or you work on your own laptop at a client’s premises, then it would be prudent to check your current insurance provision, that includes your home and contents insurance.

Not all insurance policies provide full cover as standard for your portable equipment as part of the policy.

At Caunce O’Hara we offer portable equipment insurance cover from as little as £112 per annum (from £212 if you work offshore), which will provide you with £5,000 of office equipment cover, plus a further £1,000 of insurance for your portable equipment such as mobile phone, camera and laptop or tablet, video camera and power cables.

5. Personal Accident and Sickness Insurance

As a self-employed contractor or freelance professional, how would you cope financially if you were unable to work for a lengthy period of time due to illness or injury?

Personal accident and sickness cover usually pays out a weekly benefit to the insured person while they recover. A lump sum may also be paid out in some serious cases of illness or injury.

6. Business Travel Insurance

Caunce O’Hara have been insuring offshore oil and gas contractors for many years. This type of work can require a lot of travel across continental Europe. Business travel insurance will provide cover to assist in the event that your flight is cancelled, or your luggage is lost in transit, or if you fall ill while away on a business trip abroad.


All of these types of business insurance are available through our Freelance Insurance Scheme. If you would like a quote please call our friendly award-winning team on 0333 321 1403, or click to build your own bespoke quote online.

Click here for a quick online freelance business insurance quote



Find out more:

Professional Indemnity Insurance for freelance professionals and contractors

What insurance do I need as a contractor? A guide to contractor insurance

Tax Enquiry and Legal Expenses Insurance and IR35 contract review service

Are you sure your portable equipment is insured?