Congratulations! You finally decided to start your side hustle.
This is fabulous news, and, hopefully, things have been smooth sailing so far.
Now it’s time to delve a little deeper and make sure your business has covered its backside.
In other words, it’s time to learn whether or not you need insurance for your side hustle. To help bring you up to speed, here are the side gig insurance essentials.
Why Do You Need Insurance for Your Side Hustle?
Owning your own business is beneficial for several reasons. You get to set your own schedule, work remotely, go on vacation when you want, be your own boss, and charge your customers what you want.
But, there are some downfalls to owning your own business—namely, you don’t have a group insurance policy subsidized by your employer. Similarly, your personal home and auto insurance don’t cover work-related claims.
This means if you run a business that is susceptible to a lawsuit, property loss, and/or business interruption, you need insurance. Seeking out insurance for your side gig will protect you from financial ruin in the event of an incident, accident, or lawsuit.
How Do You Know If You Need Insurance for Your Side Hustle?
Not every side business is the same, so not every business owner will need the same type of insurance. In fact, some business owners won’t need insurance at all.
Whether or not you need insurance (and how much insurance you need) is based upon your risk factor. If your side hustle has a high risk factor, you need insurance. If your side gig has low or no risk involved, then you only need a small policy or may not even need insurance.
Here are some things to consider to determine risk:
- Do you run a side gig where someone could get hurt (bitten by a dog, victim of a car accident, experience an allergic reaction to one of your products)?
- Do customers come to your place of business?
- Do you go to customers’ homes?
- Do you work with the elderly, children or animals?
- Do you handle any sensitive information or process credit cards?
- Do you use a car to travel to and from business engagements?
- Do you use valuable equipment that could get destroyed in an accident?
If you can answer yes to any of these questions, then you have a higher risk profile. Take the time to consult with an independent insurance agent about insurance options.
If you answered no to all of these questions, then your risk profile is lower. This doesn’t mean you won’t benefit from insurance. It could mean you only need a small policy.
What Kind of Side Gig Insurance Do I Need?
Each side gig is different which means the types of policies different business owners need will vary greatly. Here is a quick review of the different types of policies you may need. After reviewing each policy, you’ll have a better understanding of whether or not your business needs the respective type of insurance.
Business Owner’s Policy
A business owner’s policy is a packaged policy that covers all of the basics. This includes things like vehicle, property, crime insurance, liability, and more. An insurance agent will help you create a policy that is specific to you and your business. This is the most common type of business policy and a good option for every business owner to research.
If you are at higher risk for certain aspects of this bundled policy, you can get a separate and more comprehensive policy. These policies include:
- Professional Liability Insurance – This policy covers claims due to negligence or accidents such as bodily injury or property damage to a third-party.
- Crime Insurance – If you need property protection from fraud and theft, this is the insurance for you.
- Property Insurance – Property insurance protects your own business from natural disasters, fire, storms, theft, etc.
- Vehicle Insurance – If you use a car strictly for business, you need a separate business policy.
These types of policies will protect your business and your personal assets in the event of damage or a lawsuit.
Personal and Advertising Injury
No one likes to be accused of libel, privacy invasion, copyright infringement, slander, etc. Unfortunately, sometimes it happens. If you are sued for any of these offences, a personal and advertising injury policy will cover you.
Product Liability Insurance
Do you make or sell a product? If so, you should look into a product liability insurance policy. This protects you in the event of a lawsuit resulting from a customer getting injured by your product. Since every business is so different, you can work with your insurance agent to customize your policy to your business.
Do you employ at least one other individual? If so, you need a worker’s compensation policy. This type of insurance protects you from lawsuits that result from injuries on the job. Keep in mind most states require workers’ compensation for any W2 employees.
Cyber Liability Insurance
If you store any sensitive, personal or financial information on your computer, then you need a cyber liability insurance policy. This will help you cover the costs related to any potential breach in security.
One of the biggest risks when starting a side gig is the risk of clients not paying you. If you send invoices to clients, look into an accounts receivable policy. This will cover you financially when clients don’t pay up.
The policies mentioned above are among the most popular types of insurance side hustlers should research.
Insuring Your Side Hustle for Success
Starting a side hustle is the perfect way to make extra money. If you have already researched your side hustle and settled on your business idea, it’s time for the next two most important steps.
First, make sure to set up your website with our easy to use, drag-and-drop Gator website builder. Then, take the time to protect your business and personal assets by looking into insurance.
Ashley R. Cummings is a professional freelance writer specializing in SaaS, tech, and advertising/marketing. In a previous life, she was a Russian teacher at Brigham Young University, a corporate trainer, and a grad student—all at the same time. When she’s not writing, you can find her traveling the world with her 2 kids and husband, reading poetry or taking a deep dive into the fabulous world of comedy. Connect with her on Twitter at @ashleyrcummings.