The freedom and flexibility that comes with being your own boss is unrivaled. You chose where and when to work, have control over your career and earn money doing something you love. But going solo isn’t without its risks. You may face large financial risks with the absence of support and protection from an employer. Self employed insurance that comprehensively protects you and your business against the unknown means you’ll never have to face it alone — and there are a host of insurance products for you.
Best Self-Employed Insurance
- Best Business Insurance Provider: HIG or Thimble
- Best Long-Term Disability Insurance Provider: MassMutual
- Best Health Insurance Provider: UnitedHealthcare
- Best Vision Insurance Provider: VSP
- Best Dental Insurance Provider: Delta Dental
- Best Term Life Insurance Provider: Bestow
1. Self-Employed Business Insurance
Business insurance is a necessity — whether you own a fast-growing local business or a mid-size regional company. It is simply a coverage that protects your business against financial damages that result from property damage, accidents, workers’ compensation claims and professional errors, among others. Having the right insurance is critical in mitigating the negative impact of claims against your business.
Here are the common business insurance policies most self-employed persons need to look into.
General liability insurance covers all costs associated with 3rd-party property damage, accidents and bodily injury. You won’t have to make any out-of-pocket payments if you’re sued for damages related accidents that your business is responsible for. General liability insurance isn’t required by the federal law, but most states and cities have specific legal requirements for business owners who work with the public.
Product liability insurance protects your company against suits or claims arising from its products, whether they were manufactured, supplied, sold, retail, delivered, installed or repaired by it. This insurance protects a seller’s or manufacturer’s liability for property damage or bodily injury sustained by a 3rd party due to a product’s malfunction or defect.
Product liability claims may be based on one of the following:
- Design defects
- Production or manufacturing flaw
- Defective instructions or warnings
Any business that has a physical presence can benefit from this coverage. This policy protects your business from the financial losses resulting from the damage to or destruction of its physical assets. You’re also protected in case of fire, burst pipes, theft, storms and explosions. This coverage doesn’t protect against loss of business income or valuable papers and records, so consider add ons that cover these specific elements.
Workers’ compensation insurance provides wage benefits and medical care to people who become ill or are injured at work — regardless of who’s at fault. This policy also covers injuries that employees sustain from other events that may occur while they’re working, including natural disasters, workplace violence and terrorist attacks. Employers with a few employees are exempted from mandatory coverage in most states — the threshold for mandatory insurance is at least 3 to 5 employees. Benefits are paid for the entire duration of the disability, though there’s a limit for temporary disabilities.
You need this policy if you offer professional advice or services to other individuals or businesses. It protects you against claims of professional misconduct, breach of duty or malpractice that result in losses to your client. It can also include negligence, violation of fair dealing and good faith and misrepresentation. You may include a professional liability policy in your Commercial Package Policy as an endorsement.
Commercial auto insurance pays for property damage or bodily injury caused by any vehicles you use in your business operations. This policy doesn’t cover vehicles not owned by the business. Consider adding a non-owned auto policy if your employees use their personal vehicles for work, your company leases vehicles or uses car rentals for business operations.
Best Business Insurance Provider: HIG (The Hartford)
HIG offers the widest range of business insurance coverage and benefits. Besides providing the business insurance knowledge you need, the company also provides competitively-priced and customizable policies to help meet your insurance needs. This carrier insures sole proprietors, mid-sized businesses and large corporations.
HIG’s resource page connects you to a variety of utility websites — whether you want to download a crash report or find out if your business sits in a flood zone. Its client access portal allows you to access a host of self-service features, including reviewing current policies, reporting claims, requesting policy changes, document access and more. You can quickly make a claim through any of its providers.
Thimble provides flexible small business insurance. You can buy liability insurance policies by the month, the day or even by the hour. Even better, you can apply in under 60 seconds.
Choose from general liability, professional liability or drone insurance.
Thimble got its start as Verifly Drone Insurance, and you can still purchase drone insurance through the Verifly app.
Drone insurance helps protect you if there are any injuries or property damage due to your drone flight. It also provides coverage for unintentional invasions of privacy and unintentional flyaways.
Thimble is also rolling out event insurance. This is a type of liability coverage for those who are organizing a special event or participating in one as a vendor or exhibitor. It includes coverage for bodily injury and property damage to a 3rd party and coverage for legal fees and damages related to alcohol consumption for BYOB or open bar events. If you’re selling alcohol, you can add retail liquor to your policy.
You can sign up to be notified as soon as it’s available on the Thimble website.
2. Self-Employed Long-Term Disability Insurance
A long-term disability policy provides income replacement if you’re unable to work due to an accident, illness or injury for a long period. This way, you will continue paying bills and meeting your financial obligations. This policy doesn’t insure against work-related injuries or accidents covered by workers’ compensation insurance.
This policy has 2 protection features you should understand:
- Noncancelable: Your insurer can’t cancel the policy unless you default on premium payments. This allows you to renew your policy annually without a reduction in benefits or increase in premium rates.
- Guaranteed renewable: You can renew your policy with similar benefits and not have the policy canceled. However, your provider can increase your premium to match other policyholders in your category.
Long-term disability policies have a waiting period of a few weeks to several months. The maximum benefit period may range from a few years to a lifetime.
Best Long-Term Disability Insurance Provider: MassMutual
MassMutual is a full-service insurance and financial company that lets you bundle your needs. The carrier offers a host of customizable disability insurance policies to cover your living expenses if you’re unable to work. The company offers retirement and income protection benefits, as well as rider policies that increase your coverage as your earnings grow. Additional riders available include an occupation rider, cost of living adjustment rider, social insurance rider and student loan rider.
The company also earned an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau and an A++ from AM Best. Contact a MassMutual financial professional to learn more about disability insurance and get a quote.
3. Self-Employed Health Insurance
Health insurance is crucial if you’re self-employed, particularly since you may not have sufficient savings to cover an accident or illness that leaves you incapable to work. Unless you’re exempted under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), you will pay a penalty for not carrying health insurance for at least 9 months of the year. Being self-employed, you obviously won’t qualify for an employer-sponsored plan but may still obtain affordable health insurance that fits your budget and needs.
What Does Health Insurance Cover?
Here are 10 essential health benefits covered by plans in the Health Insurance Marketplace:
- Prescription drugs
- Emergency services
- Outpatient care services
- Hospitalization, including overnight stays and surgeries
- Laboratory services
- Pregnancy, maternity and newborn care
- Vaccination, wellness services and chronic disease management
- Pediatric services, including vision and oral care
- Rehabilitative and habilitative treatments and services needed to regain cognitive or physical abilities
- Treatment for substance abuse and mental health disorders, including psychotherapy and counseling
Plans must also cover FDA-approved birth control as well as breastfeeding support, equipment and counseling without charging a coinsurance or copayment.
These essential health benefits only apply to long-term plans you buy on the ACA Marketplace. If you purchase a short-term plan outside the Marketplace, your insurance carrier may decide which services are covered. Coverage for maternity care and prescription drugs is excluded in most short-term plans. Be sure you know what’s covered before enrolling in a short-term plan.
What Does Health Insurance Not Cover?
Here are some common exclusions you may see on your health insurance policy:
- Vision and dental services for adults
- Cosmetic surgery
- Alternative therapies
- Long-term nursing home care
- Male birth control
- Nonroutine vaccinations
You’ll have a longer list of exclusions if you buy a short-term plan. Read the policy’s fine print to ensure it contains the benefits you need.
Best Health Insurance Provider: UnitedHealthcare
Prefer a fully-compliant ACA plan or a supplemental plan? UnitedHealthcare offers a wide range of health insurance options for individuals and families. Being one of the largest carriers in the United States, UnitedHealthcare is available in nearly every state. The company also has varying plan options and metal tiers to help you balance your coverage and costs.
UnitedHealthcare allows you to handle all your insurance online through its online health portal. You can also make virtual consultations at no extra cost. Manage your policy, schedule doctor appointments and view your claims from your MyUHC account. The carrier also benefits from a vast network of participating clinics and doctors, so you can easily find one that accepts this plan.
Best Vision Insurance Provider: VSP
VSP is accepted by more than 40,000 vision care providers across the U.S. The company offers some of the best allowances on contacts and frames, in addition to quality copays on lenses and exams. Its standard coverage can cost as little as $15 per month and includes a comprehensive plan for eye care needs like annual eye exams and the choice of new prescription eyeglasses or contact lenses every 12 months.
VSP has received the award of Best Vision Coverage by the Benefits Selling magazine Reader’s Choice Awards for 8 consecutive years.
Chat with a VSP agent to learn more about your coverage options and get a quote immediately.
Best Dental Insurance Provider: Delta Dental
Since 1966, Delta Dental has provided high-quality dental insurance solutions to more than 80 million enrollees. Its plans are accepted by more dentists than any other carrier. A Delta Dental plan guarantees few out-of-pocket costs and a simpler process.
You will also enjoy affordable monthly premiums, an extensive provider network, 100% coverage on preventive checkups and exceptional customer service. You don’t need an ID card to receive services from a dentist and you won’t file any claim forms for your procedures.
Take advantage of Delta Dental’s private plans and get a quote today.
4. Self-Employed Life Insurance
A life insurance policy offers your beneficiaries a lump-sum payout if you die. In exchange for the coverage, you will remit monthly premiums to keep the policy active. This “death benefit” helps ensures that your family will meet your funeral costs and continue staying in your home if you pass. In some cases, your life insurance might offer a payout should you become permanently disabled and unable to work.
There are 2 types of life insurance:
- Whole life insurance has no time limit and guarantees a death benefit to your beneficiaries.
- Term life insurance protects you for a set period, usually between 10 to 20 years during which your policy is active. Your death benefit is only guaranteed if you die within the term period, otherwise your policy closes and you’re no longer protected. Term life insurance policies are usually more affordable and easier to get.
Best Term Life Insurance Provider: Bestow
With plans starting as low as $3 per month, Bestow is a great option if you’re self-employed. This company eliminates all the extensive paperwork through its online application. Just answer a few questions and you could get affordable term life insurance. You also don’t need any invasive medical exam if you're approved for a policy.
The combination of simple signups and policies worth up to $1 million in coverage make Bestow a great choice if you want customizable insurance plans: 2-, 10- and 20-year policies are available.
Insure Yourself Against the Unknown
If you’re self-employed, there are a host of insurance policies you can carry. The best way to ensure you’re getting the cover you need is to fully read the policy’s fine print before enrolling. Ask about your customization options, your exclusions, your premiums and what your beneficiaries will receive.
Rates may vary from one provider to the other. Carefully evaluate your options and balance the right coverage according to your needs and budget. You might purchase all policies from 1 carrier or choose different providers for different policies. Our recommended carriers can serve self-employed personnel in any industry.