Self-employment can be very liberating. You’re not bound by anyone else’s schedule, you have complete control over workplace decision-making, and you don’t have to contend with any office drama. All-in-all, being self-employed is a great way to earn a living.
However, the major drawback to self-employment is the lack of corporate insurance policies available to you. Employees at big businesses are usually offered group insurance policies at affordable prices as part of their benefits packages, and this can mean being fully covered for very inexpensive rates. Self-employed people, on the other hand, are often forced to self-insure. This can be quite costly, which means that many people who work for themselves forgo essential policies – and often end up paying the price later.
If you’re self-employed, it’s very important to be sure that you don’t end up in financial ruin due to insufficient insurance coverage. To avoid this fate, be sure to purchase the following three policies:
Health insurance is a significant expense for people purchasing coverage on their own, and although the Affordable Care Act was meant to provide more options for those whose can’t obtain coverage from an employer, its impact has yet to be realized. But this doesn’t mean that you should risk going without health insurance at all; the number one reason that Americans file for personal bankruptcy every year is a pile-up of bills incurred in a serious health crisis. No matter how costly it is, don’t forgo this important coverage.
Life insurance is another product that many people obtain through their employers at a discounted price, but just because you’re not getting a prime rate doesn’t mean you should risk going uninsured. Life insurance protects your family’s fiscal security in the event that you’re no longer around, so buying a term policy is key to guarding against a potential financial disaster.
Many self-employed people overlook the importance of disability insurance because they rationalize that very little can happen to them if they’re working from home. But disability insurance also covers you in the event that you become seriously sick and unable to work for an extended period of time, which is important if, like most self-employed folks, you have no paid sick time. At the very least you should have a long-term disability policy, but depending on your personal finances, short-term disability might also be appropriate.
The dream of being self-employed can quickly turn into a nightmare if you’re not financially prepared, and having proper insurance coverage is a key piece of the money puzzle. Don’t get caught unprepared for an emergency – be sure you have the three key insurance policies outlined above.