As a consultant, you provide your clients with expertise, support and implementation advice to get them the results that they want in their business. For any consulting service, you need to have fundamental objectives, core strategies, establish a budget and determine subsequent funding.
You will also know that no matter how much planning you do, your strategies need to be flexible to accommodate every eventuality and your funding needs to take contingency into account.
This is where consultant insurance comes in – it’s valuable because your consultancy business has to continue to run whatever happens. You also need to maintain your professional reputation and you need a shrewdness that sets you apart from others – after all, this is what you would advise to a client. Ultimately, you will be able to operate more competitively if you are protected against any negative outcome.
What does consultant insurance include?
You can tailor your consultant insurance package to suit your individual business needs, but as standard your cover should include
1. Professional indemnity insurance
Professional indemnity insurance is a crucial part of your consultant insurance, as this will protect you from any claims made against you by clients saying that advice you gave is negligent.
A professional indemnity policy might include cover for:
- Loss of documents or client information
- Breach of confidentiality
- Infringement of intellectual property rights, like copyrights or trademarks
- Virus transmission
You aren’t required to have professional indemnity insurance by law, but many professional consulting institutions recommend that you do. The Institute of Consulting for example doesn’t advise on a set amount of cover, as it is really up to you to think about what risks your area of consulting entails and find the policy that is best for you.
Ideally, this is not something to scrimp on and it is advisable to take out the largest cover you can afford as legal bills from an unhappy client could reach into many thousands of pounds.
2. Employer’s liability insurance
If you are a sole trader this insurance will not apply to you, but employer’s liability insurance is a legal requirement if you have any employees. If an employee of yours gets injured at work, they could sue you for damages. No matter how much you trust a person or create a safe working environment, if the worst happens, employer’s liability will cover your legal fees, plus any compensation you might have to pay.
3. Public liability insurance
As a consultant you will often be out and about visiting clients and seeing for yourself how their business runs. You may also have clients visiting your office. Public liability insurance covers you if someone is injured or their property is damaged while they are working with you – for example if they trip up on a cable in your office and injure themselves or drop and break their laptop as they fall.
4. Office insurance
An office insurance policy covers your office ‘contents’ – including desks, computers, chairs and telephones – from damage or theft.
Portable insurance covers any items that you take with you to client meetings and into clients’ offices, such as your laptop, mobile phone and tablet.
5. Building insurance
Buildings insurance cover is important whether you work from home or have an office that you travel to. Buildings insurance covers the office building structure, indoor fixtures and flooring.Some building
insurance policies cover your home and home office together, to protect your domestic buildings from damage caused by something like a storm or fire.