Do freelancers need general liability insurance?

General liability insurance is widely considered a part of the essential “business starter pack” because it helps cover financial losses involving many of the things that could go wrong when you run a business.

Many freelancers avoid getting liability insurance for as long as possible, but it’s a good idea to get yourself some coverage from the start. Even skilled workers in creative fields such as design and copywriting should consider it right away.

Freelancers face risk, just like everyone else.

As a freelancer, you might have a relatively low risk of third-party injuries (such as someone tripping over your laptop cord) or property damage (spilling coffee on your client’s brand new 3D printer), but you could benefit more from the personal and advertising injury portion of the policy, which will protect you from things like copyright infringement and advertising injury claims.

If you work from home, keep in mind that your homeowners insurance might not provide coverage for work-related claims (if any at all). Learn more about business insurance when you work from home.

Coverage highlights

Personal and advertising injury claims

This part of the policy protects you from non-physical damage claims like copyright and brand infringement, libel and slander, as well as advertising injury involving another person or entity. This portion of the policy is particularly important for freelancers, especially those in marketing, design, or writing.

Example: If you design a logo that looks too similar to someone else’s logo, you could be sued for copyright infringement. Even if it’s a complete accident and you had no idea you created something that was similar to an existing logo. General liability insurance would cover that.

Property damage claims

Freelancers usually handle client’s property, such as files, computers, products, props, and other things. If your policy is written correctly, general liability insurance gives you property damage insurance in case something happens while these things are in your custody.

There is a care, custody, and control exclusion in general liability policies that can be removed and endorsed to provide some coverage for items in your care, custody, or control.

Bodily injury claims

If a client or visitor gets hurt while they’re at your place of business (whether it’s at your office, your set, or in your basement), this part of the insurance policy will kick in. Bodily injuries can be some of the most expensive types of liability claims a business can face– especially if you work at an office that welcomes clients or visitors.

Bonus tip: You can protect your equipment and business property, too, if you get a business owner’s policy. It will give you extra protection and you’ll save a little money because you’re buying a package.

Questions? Ask us!