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Why Every Freelancer Needs Workers’ Compensation Insurance

CPA for Freelancers Advice for Self-Employed

As a freelancers and self-employed business owner,  you are no doubt extremely busy running from gig to gig, getting the work done, and having  little time left over for yourself.  Like the shoemaker who often goes without their own shoes, you may be neglecting something very important: the need to protect yourself from the financial impact of work accidents.

Think about the impact of being out of work due to an accident on the job. Can you cover all of your expenses if you cannot work? Unless you are independently wealthy, you will need workers’ compensation insurance.  The good news is, it is It is relatively inexpensive. to get this type of coverage.

Many solopreneurs and freelancers do not have workers’ compensation insurance because they think that they don’t need it unless they have employees. This is a false assumption which can leave you very vulnerable financially. In fact, for a very reasonable cost, worker’s compensation insurance will provide medical care, lost income, and possibly a monetary award in the event of a workplace accident.

What is worker’s compensation insurance and why do freelancers need it?

Here are some quick facts about workers’ compensation for self-employed individuals and freelancers:

  • The law requires that employers carry workers’ compensation insurance for their workers.
  • This law applies equally to the most humble mom and pop shop  with one employee to the multi-national companies with thousands of team members.
  • Workers’ compensation provides medical coverage and lost income to a worker hurt on the job.
  • It is essential that the injury must be caused by an accident during the course of employment.
  • Workers compensation insurance is typically obtained by an employer. It does not cover the owner unless the owner requests to be covered.
  • Therefore, the freelancer must request coverage for themselves as the owner of their business.

Some examples of on-the-job accidents which may be covered by workers’ compensation:

  • A computer technician is injured while traveling from one customer’s office to the next one;
  • A freelance hairdresser who visits her customers trips and falls in a customer’s apartment due to a torn carpet;
  • A freelance painter falls from a ladder while painting a customer’s apartment.

In the event of a workplace injury, there are certain benefits to being covered by workers’ compensation, such as

  • Unlimited and lifetime medical;
  • Unlimited and lifetime lost income; and
  • The possibility of a monetary award for permanent injuries.

Of course, the duration of the benefits will depend upon the nature of the injuries.  The most serious, life-altering injuries would carry a lifetime benefit. Workers’ compensation will provide self-employed individuals and freelancer s with an extra level of protection beyond any private medical and disability insurance.  How you can protect yourself and your business is an important part of being self-employed! Be sure to review your Workers’ compensation needs with your insurance professional.

If you have questions about this information, please reach out to Mark Seitelman, Esq. , from  Mark E. Seitelman Law Offices, PC at, 

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Picture of Jonathan Medows, CPA

Jonathan Medows, CPA

Jonathan Medows is a certified public accountant licensed in New York, New Jersey, Maryland, and Pennsylvania. He is also a recognized expert in taxation for freelancers and the self-employed—often tapped for his expert knowledge and perspective on self-employment taxation by national and regional publications such as The New York Post, BusinessWeek, Forbes taxation blog, WebCPA, CPA Practice Advisor, and others. You can read some of Jonathan’s press coverage here.

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