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February 29, 2024

A freelancer’s guide to professional indemnity insurance (UK-focus)

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A freelancer’s guide to professional indemnity insurance (UK-focus)
Table of contents

Even the best freelancer has made their fair share of slip-ups, mishaps, blunders and missteps, we’re only human. While many mistakes can be just a minor inconvenience, some may cause a client to lose money, putting you at risk of a lawsuit and leaving you footing the bill.

Professional indemnity (PI) insurance is designed to protect you from these types of claims, but it can be difficult to know what to look for and how to get the right cover.

To help you get started, we’ve worked with our insurance partner, Superscript, to answer some common questions about PI cover. Plus – they’re offering one month free cover for Passionfruit customers (which of course, the usual terms and conditions apply).*

Let’s get stuck in.

What is professional indemnity insurance? 

Professional indemnity insurance – also known as errors and omissions or professional liability insurance – is a type of business insurance designed to protect you against claims concerning client contracts or professional services.

It can cover things like dodgy designs, incorrect use of intellectual property and unsound advice that causes a client to lose money. It can also protect you against unpaid client fees and reputational damage.

If a claim is made against you, your PI insurance can pay your legal fees, as well as compensation awarded to the client.

What’s not covered by professional indemnity insurance?

Typically, PI insurance policies won’t cover you in these situations.

  • A claim you already knew about before your policy started
  • Where you’ve failed to tell your insurer about any changes to your circumstances
  • If you injure a member of the public or cause damage to their property. This type of claim is usually covered by public liability insurance instead.

Terms, conditions and exclusions vary from policy to policy. To be safe, you should always check your policy documents for a full list of what’s not covered. Better yet, contact your provider and ask them if you’re unsure.

Who needs professional indemnity insurance? 

PI insurance is an important type of cover in many types of industries, including marketing, design, media, IT, tech, construction and consultancy. Specifically, PI insurance is usually for any freelancer, or business, that works with contracts or provides professional advice.

Is professional indemnity insurance a legal obligation? 

Employers’ liability insurance is the only type of business insurance usually required by law in the UK. Even though most insurance isn't a legal requirement, many businesses consider the risk of being unprotected to outweigh the cost of insurance. 

It’s also worth noting that certain clients and professional organisations require you to have cover when working with them, so it's a good idea to check this with your industry body or regulator.

Do I need any other covers?

Possibly, but it depends on the nature of your business and the risks you face. As a freelancer, you may want to look into: 

Public liability insurance

From a slip on a wet floor to a coffee spilt on a client’s laptop – accidents happen. If you mistakenly cause someone an injury or damage their property, public liability insurance is designed to cover your legal fees and compensation costs. 

Business equipment insurance

From everyday essentials to specialist gear, every freelancer relies on some form of equipment. Business equipment insurance can pay for your kit to be repaired or replaced if it gets lost, stolen (provided it wasn’t left unattended because these aren’t covered) or accidentally damaged. It can usually cover portable items like laptops and phones, as well as equipment that stays at your usual place of work.

Employers’ liability insurance

Almost every business that employs staff in the UK is legally required to have employers’ liability insurance. As most freelancers typically work solo, you might decide to skip this cover for now. But it’s worth keeping in mind in case you take on any members of staff in the future.

Cyber insurance

Data breaches, cyber attacks and hacking are just some of the risks that come with using technology, affecting anyone.

Cyber insurance can protect you from these risks, covering legal fees, compensation claims, and costs related to notifying those affected. It can also provide cover for extortion, breaches of data protection laws and financial losses caused by system downtime.

How much is professional indemnity insurance? 

You typically get professional indemnity insurance as part of a broader insurance policy that includes all the different covers you need to protect yourself from risks.

The cost of your insurance policy can vary depending on the level of cover you choose, the services you offer, the industry you work in and many more factors.

Insurance for freelancers from Superscript

Every freelancer should be able to get the right cover. That's where our insurance partner Superscript comes in.

With Superscript, you can:

  • Pick the covers you need, leave the ones you don’t
  • Pay how you like – monthly or annually, it’s your choice
  • Tweak your policy at any time, with no admin fees
  • Grab a customised quote, or fully covered in minutes
  • Get five-star support, if you need it.

Find out more about Superscript’s flexible, customisable business insurance. 

Enro Ltd t/a Superscript is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

Individual cover purchased online is offered on a standardised, non-advised basis and is not bespoke. Terms, conditions and coverage limits are predetermined by the Underwriter. If you require bespoke coverage offered on an advised basis, please contact our in-house broking team.

*Offer terms and conditions. The period of free cover of 1 month free (‘the Customer Offer’) is only available to Passionfruit members who are new online, non-advised Superscript customers. After the 1 month period, premiums will then be calculated at the applicable rate. You will be informed of any price changes in good time, prior to the anniversary of your policy. The Customer Offer will not apply to cancellation fees. In the event that you cancel your Superscript policy within the first 6 months of cover, we reserve the right to deduct, withhold or charge the total value of the Offer from any payments due to or from you. To be eligible, you must have been directed from Passionfruit by clicking on the appropriate link and cannot be retrospectively applied. The Customer Offer is not assignable. The Customer Offer will be automatically applied to your account by Superscript. The Customer Offer will be applied each applicable month, regardless of annual or monthly payment option selection. There is no cash alternative. The Customer Offer cannot be used in conjunction with any other Superscript offer, voucher or promotional benefit. The Customer Offer is subject to eligibility requirements. We reserve the right to withdraw the Customer Offer at any time. Terms and conditions are subject to change and you may not be informed.

Professor Passionfruit Illustration
Table of Contents

Even the best freelancer has made their fair share of slip-ups, mishaps, blunders and missteps, we’re only human. While many mistakes can be just a minor inconvenience, some may cause a client to lose money, putting you at risk of a lawsuit and leaving you footing the bill.

Professional indemnity (PI) insurance is designed to protect you from these types of claims, but it can be difficult to know what to look for and how to get the right cover.

To help you get started, we’ve worked with our insurance partner, Superscript, to answer some common questions about PI cover. Plus – they’re offering one month free cover for Passionfruit customers (which of course, the usual terms and conditions apply).*

Let’s get stuck in.

What is professional indemnity insurance? 

Professional indemnity insurance – also known as errors and omissions or professional liability insurance – is a type of business insurance designed to protect you against claims concerning client contracts or professional services.

It can cover things like dodgy designs, incorrect use of intellectual property and unsound advice that causes a client to lose money. It can also protect you against unpaid client fees and reputational damage.

If a claim is made against you, your PI insurance can pay your legal fees, as well as compensation awarded to the client.

What’s not covered by professional indemnity insurance?

Typically, PI insurance policies won’t cover you in these situations.

  • A claim you already knew about before your policy started
  • Where you’ve failed to tell your insurer about any changes to your circumstances
  • If you injure a member of the public or cause damage to their property. This type of claim is usually covered by public liability insurance instead.

Terms, conditions and exclusions vary from policy to policy. To be safe, you should always check your policy documents for a full list of what’s not covered. Better yet, contact your provider and ask them if you’re unsure.

Who needs professional indemnity insurance? 

PI insurance is an important type of cover in many types of industries, including marketing, design, media, IT, tech, construction and consultancy. Specifically, PI insurance is usually for any freelancer, or business, that works with contracts or provides professional advice.

Is professional indemnity insurance a legal obligation? 

Employers’ liability insurance is the only type of business insurance usually required by law in the UK. Even though most insurance isn't a legal requirement, many businesses consider the risk of being unprotected to outweigh the cost of insurance. 

It’s also worth noting that certain clients and professional organisations require you to have cover when working with them, so it's a good idea to check this with your industry body or regulator.

Do I need any other covers?

Possibly, but it depends on the nature of your business and the risks you face. As a freelancer, you may want to look into: 

Public liability insurance

From a slip on a wet floor to a coffee spilt on a client’s laptop – accidents happen. If you mistakenly cause someone an injury or damage their property, public liability insurance is designed to cover your legal fees and compensation costs. 

Business equipment insurance

From everyday essentials to specialist gear, every freelancer relies on some form of equipment. Business equipment insurance can pay for your kit to be repaired or replaced if it gets lost, stolen (provided it wasn’t left unattended because these aren’t covered) or accidentally damaged. It can usually cover portable items like laptops and phones, as well as equipment that stays at your usual place of work.

Employers’ liability insurance

Almost every business that employs staff in the UK is legally required to have employers’ liability insurance. As most freelancers typically work solo, you might decide to skip this cover for now. But it’s worth keeping in mind in case you take on any members of staff in the future.

Cyber insurance

Data breaches, cyber attacks and hacking are just some of the risks that come with using technology, affecting anyone.

Cyber insurance can protect you from these risks, covering legal fees, compensation claims, and costs related to notifying those affected. It can also provide cover for extortion, breaches of data protection laws and financial losses caused by system downtime.

How much is professional indemnity insurance? 

You typically get professional indemnity insurance as part of a broader insurance policy that includes all the different covers you need to protect yourself from risks.

The cost of your insurance policy can vary depending on the level of cover you choose, the services you offer, the industry you work in and many more factors.

Insurance for freelancers from Superscript

Every freelancer should be able to get the right cover. That's where our insurance partner Superscript comes in.

With Superscript, you can:

  • Pick the covers you need, leave the ones you don’t
  • Pay how you like – monthly or annually, it’s your choice
  • Tweak your policy at any time, with no admin fees
  • Grab a customised quote, or fully covered in minutes
  • Get five-star support, if you need it.

Find out more about Superscript’s flexible, customisable business insurance. 

Enro Ltd t/a Superscript is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

Individual cover purchased online is offered on a standardised, non-advised basis and is not bespoke. Terms, conditions and coverage limits are predetermined by the Underwriter. If you require bespoke coverage offered on an advised basis, please contact our in-house broking team.

*Offer terms and conditions. The period of free cover of 1 month free (‘the Customer Offer’) is only available to Passionfruit members who are new online, non-advised Superscript customers. After the 1 month period, premiums will then be calculated at the applicable rate. You will be informed of any price changes in good time, prior to the anniversary of your policy. The Customer Offer will not apply to cancellation fees. In the event that you cancel your Superscript policy within the first 6 months of cover, we reserve the right to deduct, withhold or charge the total value of the Offer from any payments due to or from you. To be eligible, you must have been directed from Passionfruit by clicking on the appropriate link and cannot be retrospectively applied. The Customer Offer is not assignable. The Customer Offer will be automatically applied to your account by Superscript. The Customer Offer will be applied each applicable month, regardless of annual or monthly payment option selection. There is no cash alternative. The Customer Offer cannot be used in conjunction with any other Superscript offer, voucher or promotional benefit. The Customer Offer is subject to eligibility requirements. We reserve the right to withdraw the Customer Offer at any time. Terms and conditions are subject to change and you may not be informed.

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