UK Business News Dominated By Contractor Debate

Debates around Freelancing and Contracting have been headlining in the UK business news over the past fortnight with tensions running high and independent research showing that many Freelancers and Contractors are fast losing confidence in the current government and their seeming lack of support for those working for themselves.

The proposed Controlling Person’s Legislation I mentioned in the 25th September blog entry is causing unease amongst Media and Public Sector Contractors and Freelancers and this seems to have dominated the front pages of the broadsheets this month.

Matchtech, the number one engineering and recruitment company in the UK, have also released the results of a new Confidence Index and it seems that UK engineers are now losing confidence in the government and their policy on engineering.  More than half of those surveyed stated that they’re not confident that their businesses will continue to invest locally and two in five are seriously considering electively working abroad in the next five years.

It’s not easy to see how this debate will be resolved unless there is a dramatic shift in the government’s attitudes towards the Freelancing Community.  The consensus amongst Freelancers and Contractors is that without such a shift we risk seriously damaging this vital sector of UK commerce and industry.

KPSol 5 Year Anniversary!

We are pleased to announce that June 2012 marks an exciting anniversary for KPSol- our 5th birthday!

 

This is an exciting milestone for us and reminds us of our success to date, including recently being awarded the prestigious ‘Chartered Insurance Broker’ status by the Chartered Insurance Institute.  We are proud that we have continued to grow over the last 5 years despite the challenging economic climate and competition from large insurers and comparison sites.  We now employ 12 employees and have helped over 6000 freelance professionals and their clients to stay safe.

 

Our success wouldn’t have been possible without our customers, so to celebrate we are offering an array of prizes over the next 5 months, both to loyal customers and to potential customers who obtain a quote.  These include 2 hospitality tickets to a major UK golfing event, iPads, Kindles, free policies, Love2Shop vouchers and digital cameras.  Anyone is free to enter, simply click here to get a quote for our great value package and you’ll automatically be entered into the monthly prize draws.

 

We will also be holding a well deserved celebration event for our staff to mark this special occasion and thank them for their hard work.  Keep an eye out for pictures on our blog!

 

 

 

Why You Should Hold Freelancer Insurance For Your Own Benefit, Not Just The Clients!

Depending on your industry and profession, there may be a legal obligation to hold insurance, but many freelancers are not required by law to have any insurance at all and this can instantly seem like an easy place to save money when trying to ensure maximum returns from your freelancing activities.  However, freelancer insurance isn’t all just about protecting your client, it also be about protecting yourself!

Insurance is often required to satisfy certain obligations in a contract between you and your client, but rather than seeing this as an unwanted cost, you should consider the benefits that it brings you for yourself.

Consider the risks and exposures that you place yourself under every time you complete work for a client.  For example, do you provide professional advice to people that they may act upon and make costly decisions from it?  Do you visit your clients at their premises where it is possible you could cause an accident or damage?  Is there a chance that you work could somehow damage your clients reputation, business or even cause some kind of physical harm if something went wrong?

It is well worth asking yourself all these questions as if any of these issues were to arise, it is not simply your client’s problem, it will in fact become your problem extremely quickly!

By holding freelancer insurance, you can protect yourself against potential problems that could cost you serious money, or even your entire livelihood.   If a client trips or falls as a result of your activities and you do not have the relevant insurance, you could be liable to cover any compensation awarded.  This could be a few hundred pounds in the case of a small injury, or it could arise to tens or even hundreds of thousands of pounds if the accident was to be serious.

Another common and highly recommended protection would be professional indemnity, especially if you are in the business of consulting or giving advice.  While from the outset it may seem that the worst that could happen from giving bad advice would be to lose a client, the reality is actually a lot worse.  Without adequate insurance, you could personally be held responsible for loss of revenue, damage to reputation and branding and even loss of potential future profits.  Once again, when you consider the small cost of this insurance compared with the outrageously high potential figures involved in NOT having it, it quickly makes sense that taking out this insurance is actually more about protecting yourself, rather than the client.

Don’t fail to remember as well that by having insurance in the first place, regardless of any issues arising, can benefit you as a freelancer straight away.  It shows clients that you are a true professional and gives potential new customers the confidence to try your services without being left high and dry in the event of a problem. In the long run this can help you improve your reputation and standing in the industry and win new business that you may have previously lost out on.

Insurance Compare, Consumer Beware!

Since KPSol started trading there have been a few stumbling blocks which have frustrated us. However none more so than our recent experiences with insurance comparison sites. These are household name aggregators with considerable exposure and are firms you should be able to trust.

They advertise themselves as being able to find you the best deal with the minimum amount of fuss, entering your details once and at the click of a button they compare all the policies from numerous insurers for you – hopefully saving you money and time in this process.

Well, this is what they state; but in reality are these one-click comparison sites really offering the best deals?

Some sites brag that they compare prices from “leading UK Business Insurance providers”, meaning that you place your trust in them to compare quotes from all the necessary providers and find you the best deal…this simply is not the case! We are finding that most comparison sites are making exclusive arrangements with brokers who only compare policies from companies that they have commercial (commission) deals with. This  is something which they can control to get the best deal for themselves and NOT the consumer. A little unknown fact is that over £650 MILLION is taken in commission by price comparison sites every year! The levels of commission they insist on can in fact bar entry to cheaper policies from broker facilities meaning that you simply don’t get the best policy for you.

Shockingly, this is not just restricted to comparison sites; whilst attempting to make arrangements to promote our policy to relevant groups we have recently been rejected by a contractor advisory website as they already have an agreement with an existing insurance provider. Now this is a website trusted to provide accurate and intelligent advice to their members but we found they let commission based commercial agreements rule their judgement denying their members access to a policy which provided better cover and a much lower price.

So next time that you look for business insurance, maybe you should think twice about who you trust to give you the best deal…