Do I need PI?

I am a freelance commercial man. Do I need public liability or professional indemnity. Essentially I am a bean counter with occasional input in design or operational items.

I never get a straight answer from google. What are your thoughts?

The obvious answer is that you DO need such insurance if you are working on a freelance basis. Some professional organisations also mandate such insurance on ‘freelance’ members.

The problem you may find is defining your role as you say you have occasional input into design. This means that the policy cover may be more complex and the further away from a ‘standard role’ you get, the greater the uncertainty and risk from an insurer’s perspective, which usually increases the cost of a policy.

PI insurance isn’t necessarily expensive, however, and often starts with £50k of cover and if you are a Limited Company the policy cost is a ‘tax deductible’ expense. A policy can also include combined insurances, such as PI, Employer’s Liability, Public Liability etc

Get a few quotes online and then decide what you might need and how any changes (possibly even minor) in what you are doing could affect the cost of a policy.

Agree with everything that Andrew says, but do check what a proposed policy actually covers. Because what I do is not standard, when I read what the initial proposed policies actually covered, they did not match what I did, despite filling in extensive questionnaires for the broker.

That left me with a choice :

  • cheap insurance so I could tick the box of having cover as required by Clients, but potentially useless in the case of a claim against me.
  • expensive insurance which actually covered what I did.
    The same might apply to you.