When you’re a self-employed contractor your work can open you up to a variety of risks. Whether your contracting business has you offering professional services, or out on site for a job, there are ways you can protect yourself and your business, if you fall ill.

Ultimately if you can’t work on your contracts, then the money isn’t coming in — so what are the best health insurance options for contractors? Keep reading to find out.

What are the types of health insurance for self-employed contractors?

Health insurance 

Also known as Private Medical Insurance (PMI). By paying a monthly premium on a private health plan, you could have access to medical care should you need to be seen sooner than the NHS can provide. The monthly payment will be accompanied by an excess payment when you make a claim to pay for any treatment you receive.

As with any insurance policy, the level of cover will differ and certain medications, procedures or illnesses may not be covered. So as a self-employed person, you should take into consideration the level and breadth of cover that is appropriate for you. 

For example, if you have trouble with your joints or are prone to injuries then you might choose a policy that allows you to access diagnostic tests (e.g., MRIs, X-rays, CT scans) and consultant appointments, as this would save you waiting for these things from the NHS. The policy can not guarantee you’ll be seen immediately, but may get you back to business faster.

Critical illness

Critical illness policies will provide a lump sum payment if you are diagnosed with certain critical illnesses or severe medical conditions. 

This type of policy could be useful in order to keep a steady income for your household while you are unable to work. It could pay for treatment to help you recover, or be used to pay household bills or a mortgage if you are unable to create income through your business due to illness.

Life insurance, or relevant life insurance

A life insurance policy will pay out a lump sum if you die or in some cases are diagnosed with a terminal illness. This will allow your family to still have a source of income should you be unable to provide.

A relevant life insurance policy works in a very similar way. Instead of you paying personally, the business pays for the policy’s monthly premium, and should you pass away a lump sum is awarded to your chosen beneficiary. This works in a very similar way to a ‘death in service’ benefit, and you can offer it to employees if you choose to start growing your business.

Income protection or personal accident and sickness insurance

As a self-employed person, if you are unable to work, the money stops coming in. A policy like income protection, also called personal accident and sickness cover, could help. 

If you are unable to work for a period due to illness or injury, the policy will support you. The payout on this will usually be a weekly sum, to cover bills and living expenses while you recover. If you are unable to return to work at all, then a lump sum payment will be made and how much will be stipulated in the contract. Income protection may also payout if you have to take a significant reduction in income due to your illness (for example, if you cannot work the same hours or have to give up certain activities).

Things to take into consideration

Always check the details

Like any insurance, there is a different range of levels of cover that differ from insurer to insurer. The details could stipulate what kind of treatments are available, how a payout would work, the location of where treatment is provided and the amount you’d be willing to contribute to having access to the treatment (the ‘excess’ you’ll pay when you make a claim). 

Always read the small print to ensure the policy you choose will benefit you and your business the best, and not be a cause of stress at an already stressful time.

Specialised policies

You might find that there are specific health insurance policies for your industry or insurances that include several policies in one. 

For example, you may be able to find insurance specific for self-employed contractors that include your public liability insurance, life insurance, income protection as well as private medical cover. This would save you having several separate policies and bills, by including them all in one. 

Liability insurance for self-employed contractors

Public liability is an insurance policy that protects you if a claim is made by a member of the public against you or your business. It covers you if a member of the public is injured, harmed (either physically or emotionally) or their property is damaged in an accident when dealing with your business. 

Even though public liability insurance is not a legal requirement, it would be unwise to go without a policy as a contractor who may have to constantly deal with the public, be it, clients, at your office, or when you are out on site. Often, if you are contracted to work on a site, you will have to prove that you have a valid public liability policy before you are allowed to start work. So it would be wise to consider a policy in order to protect yourself, the public and any colleagues in the case of an accident or injury that could stop you from working.

Make managing your finances easy, from day one, with Countingup

Financial management can be stressful and time-consuming when you’re managing several contracts at once as a self-employed person.

When running a contracting business, the last thing you need is a system that makes this task even more confusing. That’s why thousands of business owners use the Countingup app to make their financial admin easier. 

With Countingup, you’ll get a business current account and accounting software rolled into one app. This way, you can track and manage all your financial activities in one place.

Countingup also makes it easy to invoice clients on the go. You can create unlimited customised invoices with just a few taps on your phone and send them to clients from wherever you are. Then when a client pays you, Countingup automatically matches the payment to its relevant invoice. 

All this means you can stay organised with minimal effort and speed up the payment process as well. Sign up for an account to save time on bookkeeping so you can focus on finding and serving your contracting clients.

Find out more here and start your three-month free trial today.