Once you start running your own business in Belgium, or anywhere else for that matter, you soon realise that there are things that could go wrong. We spoke to insurance expert Sébastien Deruyver about 5 essential insurance types that every freelancer should get.
Becoming self-employed means you are independent in your work, but also brings more responsibility. You are now responsible for your own income, but also for your own future and potential problems. Which insurance do you need to cover the most common and the most damaging potential problems?
1) Professional Liability Insurance
The professional liability insurance protects you from third party claims due to your professional mistakes. This type of insurance covers you no matter whether the mistake was your fault or not.
Imagine the following scenario: A freelancer in the IT sector has a problem with a client because of too many bugs in the software delivered by the freelancer. The client breaks the contract with the freelancer and claims damages due to software bugs, hiring another consultant, reinstallation of the software and the financial loss. With the professional liability insurance, the freelancer is covered for the amount of damage claim. Additionally, this type of insurance can also include legal help in such cases.
2) Additional health insurance
Belgium has a co-payment system in healthcare, which means that despite having the obligatory health insurance and possibly also hospitalisation insurance, you would still need to pay a part of the hospital bills yourself. So why not invest in additional insurance to cover excessive medical costs?
Which types of costs are covered by the additional healthcare insurance?
- Any costs that remain after the intervention of the obligatory health insurance.
- Doctor fees and the single room surcharge.
- Ambulance transport.
3) Car insurance
Every car owner in Belgium is legally obliged to have a liability insurance. But did you know you can add additional guarantees? For example, an insurance of the driver or road and travel assistance.
If you’re using your car for your business, don’t forget to ask to add these additional options to your policy! However, it is good to know that some insurance companies add an extra premium because of the higher risk linked to using the car for work purposes.
4) Supplementary Pension & Income protection
As self-employed, you are already contributing to the government fund for the pension insurance. But do not expect to be rich when you retire. That is what it is a good idea to sign up for supplementary pension insurance. The government is subsidising this type of insurance with tax benefits.
Take this insurance up a notch by adding a cheaper guaranteed income protection insurance. Income insurance is very important if you are self-employed in Belgium, as you need to make sure that you have at least minimum guaranteed income if something goes wrong in your life.
4) Cyber Risks
Nowadays almost all of our work is done on our computers and more and more online. But what would happen if your computer was hacked? Are you really prepared for this?
Don’t forget that the stricter rules of GDPR will also require additional protection for the personal data of your clients on your devices and clouds. With cyber risk insurance you can limit the potential financial damage resulting from cyberhacks.
Other Types of Insurance
These are the essential five insurances that Sébastien recommends to starting freelancers. But there are of course other types of insurance that might be relevant for your business.
Do you have an office or a shop? Perhaps a large stock? Then it might be prudent to take out fire insurance.
Do you travel a lot for business? Are you always taking all your equipment with you? Then a travel and theft insurance policy would be just what you need!
Do you have children? Or perhaps a mortgage? Make sure your family does not have to worry about anything in the unfortunate event of your demise – choose a life insurance!
Would you like to know more about which insurance is the right one for you? You can contact Sebastién through his website Startupverzekering or meet him at the Freelance Business Day on the 14th of April 2018 in Brussels.
Note: the information on this page is based on the information found on official government and local websites. While we have done our best to make sure it is accurate, rules and regulations change and each individual situation might be different, so it is always a good idea to check with appropriate authorities for the latest information. Consequently, the authors do not assume any responsibility or liability for any issues or damages stemming from the use of the information found on this website.