Going out on your own: a guide to insurance for freelancers

There’s a lot to like about working for yourself, including freedom and flexibility.  

But it’s not without its risks. Things can go wrong, and your income and personal assets could be at risk without the right insurance cover.

In a worst-case scenario, you could be forced to sell your home or other assets you’ve worked hard to amass.

There are many different ways to freelance in many different industries. Some options include writing, graphic designing, web development, marketing and virtual assistant.

Each job will have different risks and insurance requirements. So, it’s important to speak with your insurance broker or adviser and tailor your insurance program to your field.

But there are some common insurance policies freelancers typically take out, so let’s take a look at what they are.

Professional indemnity

If a client believes they’ve suffered a financial loss due to advice or services you’ve provided or failed to provide, they may decide to seek compensation from you.

Professional Indemnity insurance is there to help protect you if this occurs. It can cover the cost of your legal defence and any settlements you may have to pay to the other party up to your policy limit.

“Irrespective of the merits of the claim, having a client take legal action against you can be stressful and time-consuming,” Broker Support Manager John Clark says. “It’s also very expensive. PI cover can help you protect your assets and reputation.”

“Income protection insurance can give you the opportunity to recover without that added financial pressure”

Public Liability

All business owners are legally required to take reasonable steps to ensure the safety of their customers, staff, suppliers and members of the public. The same applies to freelancers.

Public liability insurance may protect you against legal action from individuals or organisations that claim to have suffered an injury or property damage, in the event you are held liable.

“If you’re working with clients face-to-face, in their homes or premises or in public spaces, this is essential cover,” Clark says. “Public liability claims can be protracted and very costly, and having to pay someone out could potentially be ruinous for a sole trader.”

Income protection

As a freelancer, your income depends on your ability to work. If you’re unable to do so for an extended period of time as a result of illness or injury, you may end up having financial difficulties.

Income protection insurance is a safety net that can help keep you afloat until you’re able to resume operations. Depending on the type and level of cover you choose, you may be able to receive up to 70 per cent of your regular income in monthly payments for the duration of the benefit period in the event of a successful claim.

“As a freelancer, you don’t have sick leave or access to workers compensation insurance, and unless you have significant reserves, being off work can lead to significant hardship,” Clark says.

“Income protection insurance can give you the opportunity to recover without that added financial pressure.”

Business equipment 

Whether they consist simply of a desk, laptop and phone or valuable specialist equipment, it’s impossible to work without your tools of trade.

Business and portable equipment insurance may provide protection against loss from damage or theft when you’re working from your home or office, at a client site, or when you’re on the move.

Securing the best cover for yourself 

When you’re working for yourself, safeguarding your operations, income and assets is vital. Your broker or adviser can help you evaluate your requirements and source affordable insurance policies that are the right fit for your risk profile. To get started, contact your broker or adviser today.



Important notice – Steadfast Group Limited ABN 98 073 659 677

This general information does not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation or needs. It is also not financial advice, nor complete, so please discuss the full details with your insurance broker or adviser as to whether these types of insurance are appropriate for you. Deductibles, exclusions and limits apply. These insurances are issued by various insurers and can differ.


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