As a virtual assistant, there are likely tons of different questions that you’ve already contemplated. Amongst them, you at least probably considered insurance. You likely already know that there are all kinds of potential lawsuits. However, what you might not know is, specific types of insurance policies could potentially protect you from these lawsuits. Maybe it is a slip and fall on your property or another advertiser accusing you of fraud or defamation. Whatever the situation, the right insurance policies can protect you in the right situation. The trick is just knowing what types of insurance you need.
While it is hard to go wrong with too many policies, there is such a thing as investing in too many policies. Some virtual assistants might currently be paying thousands of dollars a month for coverage they don’t even need or will likely never use. This is something that you want to avoid at all costs. The only way to do such is by making sure you know exactly what policies you need, how they can protect you, and exactly where they protect you. It doesn’t hurt to know how much protection they offer as well. This is what you are going to learn below plus more.
Is Insurance Needed?
You hit up any insurance forum or even speak with a number of professionals and they will all tell you that they hear the same question over and over again. Read the forums and you’ll see the same questions over and over again. Amongst them will be, do virtual assistants really need insurance or something similar along the line. The reason this question comes up so much is not that virtual assistants don’t know if they need protection or no. Most are smart enough to know that they need protection. The confusion comes from the fact that there are so many different policies available.
In addition to this, some of these policies can be worded in ways that it takes a wordsmith to understand. At least it seems that way. That aside, knowing the types of policies you need just isn’t enough. You need to know how they can help because not all virtual assistants need the same type of protection. To make things even more confusing, it’s entirely possible that your business might need different types of protection than a virtual assistant located right down the road from you.
This is because virtual assistants deal with different clients, do different tasks, and are ultimately exposed to different risks. Insurance is always a good thing, but it is a spectacular one for virtual assistants. One of the main reasons for this and one of the risks that all assistants face is the potential damage that they could inflict on their client’s reputation, name, and business. As a virtual assistant, you’ll have access to all kinds of client data like personal data, contact details, intellectual property, Cloud storage, banking information, and tons of other data. You likely already have a good idea of how damaging this information could be in the wrong hands. Not to mention all the potential mistakes that you could make.
Consider This! (Potential Risks)
Just imagine if you accidentally, permanently delete some or all of your client’s information. What if you wipe out their entire customer base? What happens if you go to your client’s home or place of business and spill coffee on the laptop or desktop. Sure, they should have the information backed up, but what if they don’t? What if the coffee destroys the backup somehow? Don’t think this is possible? Well, think again! It’s possible and it’s likely happened before.
Heck, something as simple as posting on social media that leads to damaging your client’s reputation could fall back on you. With the way people utilize social media these days, this is something that is more than entirely possible. This is why many clients won’t even hire virtual assistants unless they already have insurance in place. Some protect virtual assistants under their own policies.
Know The Main Policies And What They Cover
When all said and done, you can’t get anywhere without knowing the types of policies available to you as well as the ones that apply to your business. Just because there is a policy called virtual assistant insurance or virtual assistant liability insurance, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it applies to you. And, even if it does apply to you, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it applies to the specific risks you face. As was mentioned earlier, each virtual assistant can be different as they deal with different clients and perform different tasks daily.
Public Liability Insurance
When doing your research, you’ll likely come across a policy titled public liability insurance. You’ll see that a lot of virtual assistants utilize this type of policy, that’s because it applies to about ninety percent of the virtual assistant workforce. So, what exactly is it and what kind of protection does it offer? Public liability insurance is a type of policy that protects you when your client suffers personal or property damage because of you, your business, or your employees. It’ll cover the cost of any legal expenses related to the incident as well as what it might cost to fix the issue.
Going back to the above scenario, imagine if you spill coffee on your client’s computer. Or, imagine if a new employee spills coffee in a client’s computer or database. Whatever the circumstances, public liability insurance will pay to have the computer and databases repaired. Heck, it’ll even pay to have them replaced. If the client wants to sue or isn’t happy with the repairs, the policy will cover the legal expenses that might follow. The policy will pay for your lawyer, the court costs, and it might even cover some of the overall settlement if you lose in court.
Professional Indemnity Insurance also known as professional liability insurance
Another type of policy that you’ll likely see over and over again or hear mentioned is professional indemnity insurance. And, this is not only because it applies to about ninety percent of the virtual assistants out there, but it offers great protection and coverage. It protects you specifically from negligence or mistakes. It doesn’t matter how careful you or your employees are, there are going to come times when mistakes happen. A little slight oversight might lead to something that ends up being tremendous.
Heck, a client might claim that you were negligent when you weren’t. Whether you were negligent or not, you’ll likely spend thousands of dollars in the court of law defending your cause. It’s happened before, it happens all the time, and it could likely happen to you, your business, or one of your employees. That’s the type of protection professional indemnity insurance offers. Something as simple as you advising your client could end up getting you sued. And as a virtual assistant, you’ll be giving lots of advice. Advice that could lead to financial losses for your clients.
Employer’s Liability Insurance
Employers liability insurance is a type of coverage that might be needed in certain situations or areas. Some insurance providers cover both you and your employees with professional indemnity insurance, whereas some don’t. This is something you’ll want to find out beforehand and if the company doesn’t extend indemnity insurance to both you and your employees, you’ll need employer’s liability insurance. It basically extended professional indemnity insurance to your employees.
Other Potential Policies To Consider
While the policies mentioned above can protect virtual assistants in a variety of potentially dangerous and damaging situations, there are other policies that one might need to invest in. One of these other policies is known as cyber insurance, data risk insurance, or cyber liability insurance. It might be named similarly to one of these titles, but it’ll offer the same type of protection and coverage in most situations.
Regardless of the name, this is a type of policy that’s designed to protect you, your employees, and your business from electronic data breaches. And with the current sophistication of hackers and scammers today, you likely already know the potential of data breaches. Just look at some of those big-name companies like Target and Wal-Mart that have been hit with data breaches. If they can get hit with their top of the line security, so can you, your business, or your employees.
That being said, this type of policy offers protection in the event that you, your business, or employees fall prey to cyber-attacks, electronic system losses, damages, or corruption. In some situations, these policies will not only cover having the data recovered, but it’ll pay to have the incident investigated. This is something that could potentially cost you thousands of dollars otherwise.
Income Protection Insurance
While virtual assistants are opposed to all kinds of potentially damaging virtual risks, there are also those physical risks. Physical risks that could lead to you being out of work for days, weeks, or even months. This type of risk also extends to your employees. Just imagine if you slip and fall at your client’s place of business. Just because he or she is willing to cover the health-related costs, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you won’t have to fight for your compensation. Maybe you won’t, but what if the coverage does come in immediately. How will you pay your bills in the meantime while you are off work?
Income protection insurance, that’s how! That’s exactly what this policy was specifically designed for. When you are put out of work due to an injury, incident, mishap, or long-term illness, this type of policy will step in and offer the financial protection that is needed. Just keep in mind that there are all kinds of different variations of this policy offered by different providers. For instance, some providers might let you take out what is known as critical illness insurance.
This will not only likely be cheaper overall, but it’ll pay you in one big lump sum. This is something you’ll likely want to consider if you suffer from some sort of specific illness. Whatever the situation, you cannot go wrong with this type of coverage.
If you do a quick disaster recovery exercise, you’ll likely see that your business is exposed to far more risks than you would have ever imagined. Not only are you at risk from your own employees, but your clients even pose your business risks. That’s right, the people paying to keep your lights on could also be the ones that force you to shut them off and lock up the door for good. With a little more time and research, you’ll clearly see that insurance policies are the way to go. While not every policy will offer the protection and coverage that you need for every single situation, you can combine a combination of policies to build a protection plan that will protect you from all foreseeable and unforeseeable risks.
You biggest asset in life is your earning ability. If you are unable to work, you will need to rely on either your savings or borrow money to sustain your lifestyle. When these unfortunate circumstances occur, dependents and spouses are also impacted financially and emotionally.
Disability insurance coverage will provide you a monthly income benefit, usually totaling 70% to 80% of your income, when you are unable to work for a period of time due to injury or illness.
Types of disability insurance
- Long-Term Disability Insurance (LTD)
- Short-Term Disability Insurance
- Key Person Disability Insurance
- Self Employed Disability Insurance
- Mortgage Disability Insurance
- Temporary Disability Insurance
- Supplemental Disability Insurance
Need coverage in effect? Compare the market!
FAQ before purchasing liability insurance
- How much professional liability insurance do I need?
- How do I get a liability insurance policy?
- What does professional liability insurance cover?
- What is the difference between claims made & occurrence form of coverage?
- When will I need to be insured?
- What other professions need this type of insurance?
Other useful posts you should also read
- Canadian insurance companies that provide professional liability insurance
- How does the claims process work if I get sued because of my professional services?
- What is the cost of professional liability insurance?
- How do I apply for a professional liability insurance policy?
- How do I qualify for coverage as a professional service provider?
- What is the purpose of getting insured as a professional?
- How long will it take to get an insurance quote for my business?