Liability insurance for self-employed persons

As a self-employed person, you are not insured as standard when doing business. Those who do not have liability insurance can therefore face high costs in the event of a claim against them. Every hardworking Dutch person sometimes gets into trouble at work. That is why insurance experts recommend taking out business insurance, even if you are self-employed.

In principle, there are two types of liability insurance for self-employed persons: business liability insurance and professional liability insurance.

Table of contents

    Self-employed entrepeneur in her office

    What is liability insurance for self-employed people (zzp)?

    Liability insurance for self-employed people is better known as business liability insurance. In principle, this is a normal business liability insurance, which can also be taken out by the self-employed. Business liability insurance is also a valid option for self-employed persons without employees. Damage to products or to persons can occur faster than the entrepreneur thinks. Private insurance often does not cover damage during working hours. That is why it can be useful to investigate the possibility of liability insurance for self-employed persons without employees.

    Liability insurance for self-employed people isn’t always compulsory

    In some professions it is mandatory to take out liability insurance. This applies, for example, to civil-law notaries and financial advisers. They are subject to compulsory professional liability.

    In many other professional groups, you are usually not obliged to take out liability insurance. However, an accident can happen, and you could be held liable. For example, in a high risk profession such as construction or the legal sector, a claim against you could become quite expensive.

    Clients are increasingly asking about the presence of liability Insurance. Some clients prefer self-employed persons with such insurance, and it could mean being awarded a contract or not.

    Why do self-employed people need liability insurance?

    For many self-employed persons, a large claim for damages could mean the end of their business. The vast majority of self-employed people cannot bear a large claim themselves. They have a small business where they often make small profits. Liability insurance covers you as an entrepreneur against major claims and accidents at work.

    Liability insurance is so important for entrepreneurs without a company. In a business form such as a sole proprietorship, the self-employed person is also liable for business debts with one's private assets. In other words, business assets and private assets come together. This means that in the worst cases, a self-employed person could even lose their home in the event of a business liability claim. Liability insurance for self-employed persons offers protection. The fact that this insurance is also very affordable, and that the premium is deductible only makes it more appealing.

    Insurance costs are deductible

    The costs for this type of insurance are tax-deductible for the self-employed. The Tax and Customs Administration sees this as 'business expenses', and business expenses may be deducted from the proceeds. The Tax and Customs Administration only understands business costs as costs incurred for the business interests of the company.

    Because professional liability insurance, business liability insurance and liability insurance are costs that are incurred in the interest of the company, you can deduct these costs. Private liability insurance (AVP) is not deductible.

    Liability insurance coverage for the self-employed

    It is usually not clear which liability insurance policies are required for the profession that is practiced. Therefore, many people assume that liability insurance is sufficient. It is important to check your coverage based on each individual contract, company you work with, and sector you work within, with your insurer.

    Reimbursements by the liability insurance for self-employed persons without employees

    The exact coverages and the amounts covered may differ per insurer and per policy, but there are often a number of similarities when it comes to coverage. In general, the liability insurance for self-employed persons will protect the self-employed person against liability claims by:

    • Injury to persons during the performance of the work

    • Inflicting damage to other people's belongings during the performance of the work

    • Damage due to defective products

    • Consequential damage

    • Damage that employees incur or inflict on each other

    • Sudden or incidental environmental damage

    In addition, the liability insurance also covers the costs incurred to prevent further damage or aggravation damage, or to limit further damage. Some insurers also offer additional legal assistance cover.

    Supervision Coverage

    Do you use someone else's equipment to work? This is often not covered by the business liability insurance. You can take out separate cover for this at a relatively low additional premium, as it is a common risk. It includes the use, processing, repair, maintenance and cleaning of the other person’s belongings.

    Exclusions for liability insurance for the self-employed

    Business liability insurance (or liability insurance for the self-employed) has a few exclusions. This includes:

    • Giving incorrect advice (covered instead by professional liability insurance)

    • Damage to yourself or your company

    • Damage or costs incurred through failure to deliver a service or product

    • Environmental damage

    • Damage caused by intent and/or recklessness

    • Damage caused by a motor vehicle, vessel, or drone

    Construction All Risk (CAR) Insurance

    The Construction All Risk insurance (CAR) or Assembly insurance is not an everyday insurance, as it is specifically intended for entrepreneurs and workers in the construction industry. Those involved in construction and renovation can benefit from this insurance. This policy also offers cover for the types of situations that the business liability insurance does not cover, including being insured against damage to new or existing buildings that arise during construction or renovation.

    No professional liability coverage

    Professional liability insurance covers the insured against liability for professional errors. Negligence, mistakes, and errors made during work. This cover sometimes is particularly helpful for those with advisory professions. In most cases, the cover can be taken out at a relatively low premium.

    It is good to remember that business liability insurance does not cover professional errors. Professional liability insurance offers a solution for this.

    Two types of liability insurance for the self-employed

    As a self-employed person, you are responsible for the damage you cause during your work. That is why it is important to take out a self-employed person's liability insurance. There are two types of liability insurance for self-employed persons:

    Business liability insurance self-employed

    This covers the damage that you, as an entrepreneur, caused to persons or property of others during your work. This is mainly for direct damages to something or someone while on the job.

    More information about business liability insurance

    Professional liability insurance self-employed

    This covers the damage that arises as a result of an error in your services, the wrong advice, or a wrong calculation that leads to financial damage for the customer. It is mandatory within some professions.

    More information about professional liability insurance

    Frequently asked questions about self-employed liability insurance

    How much does liability insurance cost for self-employed persons?

    The premium for this insurance differs per professional group. For example, the premium for a self-employed person in the construction industry is higher than for freelance consultants. In addition, the premium also differs per insurer.

    Who is insured with a liability insurance for self-employed persons?

    The liability insurance for the self-employed protects the company that has taken out the insurance, just like the entrepreneur himself. In addition, collaborating family members, partners, employees, temporary workers, and trainees are also protected against claims for damages.

    Can I use my private liability insurance as a self-employed person?

    No, private liability insurance is only intended for private individuals. As a self-employed person you are an entrepreneur. Liability insurance for individuals excludes business liability.

    When is something business and when is something private?

    Self-employed persons often have private and business activities intertwined. It is good to remember that private insurance does not cover business risks. Business liability insurance can be taken out for this. We speak of private circumstances when something happens privately: in other words, outside of work. For example: you come to a friend and knock over an expensive vase. It's business if you're a mechanic and a customer trips over a cable while you're at work.

    Is there special coverage for my profession?

    For certain professional groups (such as in construction or healthcare), there is special coverage with certain insurance policies. There are even complete insurers that focus on entire professional groups. These insurers not only offer insurance for individuals and companies, but also for self-employed persons without employees.