Contractor Insurance Checklist: Do you have the right limits?

Insurance Limits

One horror story we regularly hear from contractors is that they did have insurance but were, in fact, underinsured.

While this wasn’t an issue for them for a long time — and kept their monthly or yearly premiums down — it became a problem when a claim was made against them because of a mistake they made, and they didn’t have enough insurance to cover it. This resulted in them having to foot most of the bill themselves with a variety of consequences including using up their savings, selling their home, having to give up their business or, in some extreme cases, declaring bankruptcy.

So you should always make sure you have the right level of insurance with appropriate limits, lest you find yourself in a situation that results in financial difficulties.

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Contractor Insurance Checklist: Are you meeting your contractual obligations?

Contractual Obligations

Whether you’re a veteran contractor or a newbie, whether you’re in IT or engineering, you’ve almost certainly discovered by now that having contractor insurance is often a contractual obligation when it comes to clients and/or agencies. This means that before you sign on the dotted line, you must have insurance in place or else you could find yourself in breach of contract.

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Contractor Insurance Checklist: Does your policy include Employers’ Liability cover?

Employers' Liability Cover

At Kingsbridge, all of our contractor insurance policies include Employers’ Liability insurance cover as standard, but this is not the case across the contractor insurance industry. Many insurers miss it off completely or make it an optional extra, causing many contractors to assume they don’t need it.

And we can see why you may think that. After all, you may well fit into the exemption category (you employ only yourself and own at least 50% of your share capital) as do many contractors. But this is not always the case and just because you are exempt now it doesn’t mean you will be a few months or years down the line.

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Autumn Statement 2016: The Kingsbridge Reaction

Autumn Statement 2016 Kingsbridge

Despite all the political, social, and economic doom and gloom that wrapped around 2016 like a suffocating vine, Britain’s self-employed continued to rage against the dying of the light. Damian Hinds, the current Employment Minister, recently hailed “the resilience of the UK labour market”, citing the fact that Britain’s unemployment rate has fallen to 4.8% – its lowest level in over a decade. Coupled with that, the Office of National Statistics’ employment report for July – September 2016 revealed that the number of self-employed rose to 4.79 million, an increase of 213,000 for the year. That figure now equates to over 15% of the total UK workforce.

Why mention the above? Because instead of the recognition and support they deserve, contractors, freelancers and the self-employed found themselves under sustained attack in the 2016 Autumn Statement.

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Contractor Insurance Checklist: Are you really covered?

Contractor Insurance Checklist

The Contractor Insurance Checklist is our new blog series that will act as your guide to everything contractor insurance. Not only will it go into what the different aspects of contractor insurance are but, more importantly, they will explain why you need them and what could happen to you if you don’t have them.

Over the coming days and weeks, we’ll be running articles on various factors of contractor insurance so you can go through the parts you need to in an easily digestible format — after all, we know most contractors are too busy to be rummaging through huge, long guides.

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What is IR35?

What is IR35?

IR35 is something that often comes up in discussions about contractor accounts and taxation. But what exactly is it and what does it mean for you? This article aims to give a straightforward definition of what IR35 is and what it’s designed to achieve.

A simple definition of IR35

IR35 is a part of the 2000 Finance Act that’s designed to prevent tax avoidance in certain circumstances. Specifically, it relates to people who perform the same functions as a business’s employees, but pay less tax by operating as self-employed contractors through a limited company.

So, if you left your job and then went back to the same company the following week and performed the exact same role but as a self-employed contractor via an intermediary limited company, IR35 legislates that you would pay more-or-less the same tax and NICs as regular employees of the business.

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Public liability and professional indemnity insurance: what’s the difference?

PI vs. PL

At Kingsbridge, we regularly get asked what the difference is between public liability insurance and professional indemnity insurance. A lot of people think they’re the same thing and wonder why both are included in our combined contractor insurance policy. The fact is, they’re different things and, as a contractor, you will more than likely need both. We’ve written this article to clearly lay out what the differences are.

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How to look after your financial records as a contractor

Financial Records

Whether you set yourself up as a Limited Company or as a Sole Trader, looking after your financial records is vital to ensure you pay appropriate Income Tax, National Insurance, VAT, Corporation Tax, Student Loan Repayments or anything else that may be applicable to your situation. We’ve taken a look at what constitutes best practice so that you can make sure you pay the right amount and don’t face any repercussions for underpayment.

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Who is fuelling the UK’s contractor growth?

Contractor Growth

The UK contractor industry overall has seen a sustained period of growth over the last few years, with the number of contractors reaching never seen before levels, and making a huge economic impact. The reasons for this are well documented already, with key factors being people creating their own jobs after the economic crash, as well as people becoming increasingly aware of the benefits of a strong work-life balance.

But exactly who are the people and industries fueling this growth?

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What’s the difference between ‘any one claim’ and ‘in the aggregate’ cover?

Any One Claim Vs. In The Aggregate

At Kingsbridge, we’ve recently made some changes for the better to give contractors even more comprehensive insurance cover.

Previously, our Professional Indemnity cover was offered in the aggregate. However, for policies starting from 1st July onwards we have now improved this by changing the basis of cover to ‘any one claim’. This is great news for contractors, but what does this mean to those not fluent in insurance-ese?

Here, we outline the difference between ‘in the aggregate’ and ‘any one claim’ when it comes to our contractor insurance in order to make a clear distinction between the two.

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