Do you need insurance?

Do Virtual Assistants need insurance?

Members of my Facebook group often ask whether they should take out business insurance and because the information out there can be complicated and hard to understand, I wanted to provide you with a summary of the various different policies so you can make an informed decision for yourself. Many Sole Traders I know don’t have any insurance, but should you?

Insurance is a good idea for a few reasons but for VAs, in particular, the reasons are because of the damage they could inflict on their client’s reputation and business.

VAs have access to personal data, contacts, intellectual property, cloud storage, bank accounts, social media accounts and even homes. So the potential for a cock-up is relatively high!

Here are a few things to consider:

  • What happens if you accidentally delete a client’s entire mailing list or CRM?
  • What if you go to a client’s home or office and spill coffee on their laptop or break a piece of original artwork?
  • What happens if you post something for your client on social media and it blows up and damages the reputation of your client and/or results in them being sued by another company? What if the client tries to blame you?
  • Many companies won’t use contractors who don’t have insurance.
  • Most associates won’t outsource work to another VA who doesn’t have insurance.

These are the different types of insurance and what they cover:

Public Liability

This protects you if a client suffered personal injury or property damage because of your business. It covers the costs of subsequent legal expenses or compensation claims and is used by businesses that interact regularly with customers.

You may want this if you go to peoples’ offices or homes a lot and think you may accidentally burn them down.

Professional Indemnity

This protects you against negligence or mistakes. Claims can arise from a client who is unhappy with the professional service or advice you have provided and feel they have suffered a financial loss as a result. It will protect you against a client’s compensation claim for negligence or mistakes and covers any legal costs.

This is the insurance I have and if you want peace of mind (especially if you post on social media for your client), this is the one you should get.

Policy Bee’s Virtual Assistants’ Professional Indemnity Insurance package came highly recommended by my Facebook group and are also the insurance company I use myself.

Employers’ liability

You only need this if you employ people but you don’t need this if you are a Limited Company with just one employee who owns 50% or more of the share capital (i.e. you). If you’re a Sole Trader and do not employ anyone, or you only employ close family members, you should also be exempt.

Product liability

You only need this cover if your business involves the sale of products to members of the public.

Which one most VAs have and who they use

A recent poll of working VAs in my Facebook group revealed that most of them have professional indemnity insurance and some also have public liability, cyber and data risk insurance.

The most popular insurance companies mentioned were Hiscox, Policy Bee, and Markel. Monthly premiums seem to range from £9 to £23 a month.

Conclusion

As you can see, insurance is a good idea for many reasons – if not just to cover your backside! If you want to get insurance but you’re still not sure which one to choose, I recommend you do some more research or ask HMRC or an accountant for more advice on which type you should get.


* I am an affiliate for Policy Bee which means I get a small commission if you decide to buy from them. I use Policy Bee myself and they only asked if I would like to be an affiliate after they noticed a lot of traffic coming from my site after I relayed the details of the poll.

 

4 Comments

Joanne Munro

I believe they have worldwide insurance but the best thing to do is to ask in the VA Handbookers Facebook group as there are many US VAs in there who I’m sure can help.

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