Freelancers can get insurance from a number of sources, from direct insurers to comparison sites to business insurance brokers. Insurance can be essential if you’re working as a freelancer as you face lots of potential risks. While you may think you have enough on your plate, freelance insurance could be the best business decision you make. When you need it, you’ll be glad you have it.
But, once you’ve decided what type of freelance insurance you need, there are a few more things you should think about – from how to get insurance and to compare the best insurance quotes to paying your National Insurance. Below we explain what you need to know.
Freelance insurance broker
A freelance insurance broker is an intermediary between you and multiple insurance providers. In other words, they represent you as a customer to help you find the right insurance policies for your needs at the best price possible.
You may have also heard of ‘insurance agents’, but these are not the same. The big difference is that insurance agents work for a particular insurance company. They’re essentially salespeople who sell their company’s products whether or not it’s the best option and price available.
While both options have pros and cons, if you’re unaware of what policy type you need or you don’t know what the going rates are, you may want to opt for a freelance insurance broker.
Freelance insurance brokers will use their expertise to help you find the right coverage. To do this, they may ask lots of questions to get to know you and your requirements.
Then by scanning the market for the different policy options, brokers will try to find the most suitable coverage from a range of different providers. They’ll work with your best interests at heart, so you can be sure you’re getting the right policy for you and at the right price.
As brokers have expertise in insurance policies and specific areas like freelance policies, they are well placed to help if you have a complex situation. So if you feel your situation makes it difficult to find insurance by yourself, a broker may be able to help.
However, it’s worth mentioning that insurance brokers may add administration fees or other costs on top of the insurance itself, such as cancellation or renewal fees. This means that the eventual price you pay may be more expensive than you first thought. You can access a broker directly, but if you don’t know one to call, then fill out a quote form with a comparison site – many comparison site panels include business insurance brokers.
Compare freelance insurance quotes
It’s essential to compare freelance insurance quotes because business insurance companies can quote wildly different rates for the same situation. Whether you’re in touch with freelance insurance brokers, agents, or you’re going alone, you want to ensure you’re getting the most comprehensive cover at the best price possible.
When you’re comparing freelance insurance quotes, the cost will depend on the risk you present to the insurer. Factors that can affect the cost include your turnover claims history and the amount of coverage you need. Some riskier professions can also be more expensive to cover.
The quickest way to find a range of different freelance insurance quotes is using a comparison site. There are lots of options out there, and they’re useful to help you find the best price at different levels of cover. They’re also free to use, so there’s no harm seeing what’s out there.
As a word of caution, comparison sites may not be very suitable for complex cases. For example, you may work in a higher-risk profession, have large coverage requirements or have previous claims. It may be worth a follow-up call or even using a broker to discuss your situation in these cases.
How to pay national insurance freelance
When you’re self-employed as a freelancer and start earning money, you’re responsible for paying your tax and National Insurance on your income. Along with securing insurance, this is another critical first step to take.
You will need to register with HMRC by October after the end of the tax year that you begin taking income. Remember that the tax year runs from 6th April to 5th April. For example, if you began freelancing in February 2021, then you would need to be registered with HMRC by October 2021.
To pay your National Insurance as a freelancer, you will need to submit a Self Assessment form. The deadlines for submitting your Self Assessment for tax and National Insurance are usually the end of October for paper-based forms and the end of January for online forms.
The amount of National Insurance you pay is more complicated than if you were employed. But if you’re confused, there’s plenty of information out there on paying tax and National Insurance as a freelancer.
For example, earning above £6,475 in the 2020/21 tax year will put you into Class 2, where you’ll pay £3.05 per week National Insurance. If you earned more than £9,500 in the same tax year, this would mean you pay Class 4 rates too, which are 9% on the profits between £9,500 up to £50,000. Anything above that, you will pay 2% on your profits.
Although it’s not as easy as if you were employed, so long as you record your profits correctly and remember the Self Assessment deadlines, you won’t have an issue.