The world of contractor insurance can sometimes be a little confusing to navigate. Everywhere you look there are people telling you what you need and what you don’t. Here at Kingsbridge we know the contractor marketplace inside out. With fifteen years of experience serving the contractor community, we’re able to provide knowledgeable, trustworthy, and impartial advice. Below we’ll try and clear up a few of the most common misconceptions that surround contractor insurance. Without further ado:
We know it can be a minefield for contractors when it comes to purchasing the right insurance cover to protect you and your business. The volume of products available to you can make the whole process a little overwhelming, so we’ve set out five essential insurances you’ll need going forward. Read on below:
Professional indemnity insurance is designed to protect contractors against claims for negligence (such as making a mistake, or giving bad advice.) It also provides cover for loss of documents, loss of data, breaches of intellectual property, as well as defamation and libel.
If you do make a mistake for which you are responsible or are deemed to have been negligent, then professional indemnity insurance will cover any compensation that you have to pay as a result, as well as any legal costs you’ve incurred in the process. A mistake could end up costing you tens or hundreds of thousands of pounds so it’s vitally important to have the right protection in place. It’ll also cover the cost of fixing any mistake you may have made, which could help you to avoid having a larger claim made against you.
The first Conservative-only Budget in 19 years took place in the House of Commons yesterday and whilst there were some positives, the Tories announced a number of changes which will undoubtedly affect contractors in a negative way, with contractor dividends, expenses, and IR35 among the areas targeted by the Chancellor.
Chris Bryce, CEO of IPSE, noted: “The combination of the action on dividends, clamping down on travel and subsistence and potentially toughening up IR35 legislation could leave many contractors feeling pretty sore.”
We’ve no doubt that you’ve heard of Professional Indemnity insurance before. You may know it by a different name; errors and omissions, PI insurance or professional liability insurance. Whatever you call it, it means the same thing.
It’s insurance that provides cover for freelance contractors in the event that a client suffers financial losses as a result of a ‘breach of professional duty’. That could mean neglect of professional responsibilities, an error in work or omission on the part of the contractor.
It’s a pretty fundamental element of cover for any contractor. It will protect you if a client alleges you’ve made a mistake in any designs, advice or specifications you provide during the course of your contract.
Many freelance contracts now require you have a minimum level of Professional Indemnity cover and for good reason. Read on to find out what we think are some of the main benefits that this insurance can bring to a contractor’s life.
It pays for freelancers, contractors and the self-employed to pay attention to what is happening politically in the country. Regardless of the outcome of any election, the independent professional community will be affected by policy making and the winning party’s stance on the self-employed and small businesses in general.
In research published last year, IPSE found that up to 90% of their freelance membership was likely to vote in the upcoming general election. Now, with just over a week to go until the day of reckoning, interest within the freelance community is at its highest.
With election fever well and truly in full swing we wanted to take a brief look at how each of the main parties proposes to support the UK’s freelance community and how independent professionals will fare depending on which party, or which coalition, assumes power on 7th May.
We all made our diet, fitness, productivity and anything-else-you-can-think-of resolutions in January, as the new calendar year rolled in. However, April brings us a new kind of New Year: the new financial year.
As we covered last month, the Chancellor has revealed his final Budget before the general election and the calendar has officially restarted on the fiscal year. So, what better time to look at some practices every contractor can assume for the benefit of their finances. Here are our five financial resolutions that every freelancer should think about implementing this financial year.
Whether you’re a career contractor or you’ve just dipped your toe in the world of professional freelancing, you’ll have likely heard about Public Liability insurance. And there’s a reason for this; it’s one of the most important types of business cover and it’s an absolute essential for any contractor.
Why is it so essential? Well, as we all know, accidents and mishaps can happen, but that doesn’t mean that you, or your business, need to be out of pocket as a result. Public Liability insurance protects you and your business in the event of an accident or damage being caused where you could be held liable.
If you don’t invest in Public Liability insurance, and someone is injured or property is damaged as a result of your actions, then you could become legally bound to pay them compensation. Simple mistakes can become expensive, fast!
It’s no secret that the petroleum industry is exposed to certain, very specific risks. If you’re a freelancer in the oil and gas industry then you will be more aware than most about the risks inherent in this line of work.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE), in its Offshore Strategic Context report for 2014-2017, outlines their priority for the health and safety of the UK’s offshore industry is maintaining the integrity of the existing infrastructure that makes up approximately 50% of current offshore platforms. The main aim of this is to avoid a major incident that could result in the death of any offshore workers.
With health and safety such a critical issue within the industry, there are a number of principal risks that the HSE find must be eliminated in order to ensure the safety of the more than 32,000 workers in the petroleum industry.
Risk of fire and explosion
Any release of hydrocarbon carries the risk of ignition, fire and subsequent explosion. Hydrocarbon releases, or HCRs, can be caused either by the breakdown or erosion of a station’s assets (pipelines, pipeline risers or process plants) or by improper maintenance.
In its report, the HSE highlights that the industry has noticed the importance of reducing HCRs and that by April 2013 there was a near 50% reduction in releases, and a plan had been set out to achieve a further 50% reduction by 2016. However, by late in 2013 there had been a 30% rise in releases once more. It’s clear that this is a continuing issue for the industry and one that could have deadly consequences if not attended to.
In his speech, George Osborne today promised that today’s final, pre-election Budget will “back the self-employed, the small business-owner and the homebuyer” proclaiming that Britain’s economy is once more on the rise, dubbing the nation, ‘The Comeback Country’.
Freelancers face a mix of measures following Osborne’s 59 minute speech yesterday, many of which appear to be aimed at making the life of the independent professional much easier, while some still target cracking down further on tax avoidance.
Despite Osborne’s insistence that Britain is in the midst of an economic comeback, much of the rhetoric used throughout the speech focused on further reducing the deficit and national debt, with Osborne even expressing at one point, “we choose… to use whatever additional resources we have to get the deficit and the debt falling.”
With that said, let’s take a look at some of the main measures from 2015’s Budget that are likely to affect freelancers, contractors and independent professionals over the course of the next year.
With just two days to go until Chancellor George Osbourne delivers his final Budget before the 2015 General Election, the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed (IPSE) have released a new report detailing a Budget wish list for contractors and freelancers, outlining some of the changes they would like to see from The Treasury on Wednesday 18th March.
Let’s take a look at what some of their main proposals are and how they stand to benefit the lives of independent professionals across the country.
Simplifying the tax system
At the top of IPSE’s list is a call for the Government to commit to extensive tax simplification measures. This is a perennial issue, especially for one person limited companies, for whom navigating complex tax legislation (notably IR35) is a time consuming and costly issue.
Interestingly, Derek Kelly, Managing Director of ClearSky Contractor Accounting, writes for Contractor UK that he predicts that the UK’s independent professionals would actually appreciate maintenance of the status quo when it comes to tax legislation. Specifically, he believes that effective enforcement of current IR35 legislation would receive a warmer welcome than more rules and excessive complications being put in place.