Do Taskers Need Liability or Other Business Insurance with TaskRabbit?
The world of freelancing is full of platforms with various benefits. Some aim to protect you as the gig worker, while others leave you and your clients to fend for yourselves.
TaskRabbit is one of the platforms that expects its freelancers to provide their insurance options. They don’t insure you, so you’ll have to learn how to protect yourself and seek out professional liability and business insurance.
Keep reading for our suggestions on the best business insurance options to protect yourself as a Tasker.
What is TaskRabbit, and How Does it Help Taskers?
When you want to build your gig, but you’re not sure where to start, or you have a skill but no client base yet, TaskRabbit can help. It’s a platform that “connects busy people” who need a job done with someone who has already been vetted as trustworthy (you).
As a Tasker, you set your hourly rate and can choose from various essential tasks, from home repair to dog walking to furniture assembly. If you have a passion for something, chances are, there’s a person who needs your skills — and it’s a way for you to make money.
Clients submit a job request within a designated time frame, and the TaskRabbit system finds Taskers in the area that meet the description.
How Does TaskRabbit Keep Everyone Safe (and Happy)?
Essentially, a client on TaskRabbit is hiring a stranger to work with them. And as a Tasker, you’re working for someone you don’t know.
Even though Taskers have a background check and other screenings, it’s still concerning. This is the same situation for any virtual platform job, and it’s up to each platform company to lay the safety and dispute ground rules.
This platform has a TaskRabbit Happiness Pledge to handle any disagreements between clients and freelancers. Each country’s pledge is different, but the contract generally kicks in if your task brought you property damage, theft, or bodily injury.
Well, sort of.
TaskRabbit evaluates and judges each claim a Tasker brings to the Happiness Team on a case-by-case basis. There are many exclusions, so don’t count on having your problem taken care of by TaskRabbit.
Take your business’s financial protection into your own hands and invest in some vital insurance policies. Consider it your version of the “happiness pledge,” only with guaranteed coverage.
Quite possibly, the most crucial policy a freelancer or small business owner can have is general liability.
This coverage protects your assets if someone sustains an injury on your property or if there’s damage to a third party’s property. Homeowners’ insurance may not cover these issues because the injury or damage was business-related.
Here are two possible Tasker scenarios where general liability comes in handy:
Your client comes to your house to drop off the items you need to do the job. While they’re there, they trip on your area rug and break a bone. General liability covers their medical bills.
You received the items without a problem. One of which was a laptop for you to add hardware to, but instead, you dropped it, and the screen cracked. A general liability certificate of insurance saves the day here, too.
Even if no one shows up on your property, general liability is essential because it protects you from advertising injuries. You could be sued for libel, slander, or trademark and copyright infringement — your insurance policy guards against your liability for these damages.
Professional Liability (E&O)
You’ve probably heard of professional liability, also called errors and omissions (E&O) or malpractice coverage.
If you’re not a doctor or a lawyer, why would you need something like that as a Tasker?
It may surprise you how E&O coverage can protect your freelance business.
Professional Protection for Your Work
Depending on the service you provide, you can be in hot water for errors made in the line of your work. Professional liability insurance can cover the legal bills if that happens.
Say, for example, you missed a deadline, and that delay caused significant financial expenses for your client. They could sue you for those costs.
As an expert in your field, the client trusts you to do your job efficiently and accurately. Yet, accidents happen. If those mistakes cause damage, it’s your responsibility to fix them.
Reduce Your Liability With E&O Insurance
This could be something as simple as your job as a handyman. Someone hires you to put together IKEA furniture in their home. The bookshelf you construct breaks because you forgot to put a screw in, and the client’s expensive vase gets smashed in the fall.
Guess who’s responsible for replacing it?
Any lawsuit that occurs because of a question of your professional quality of services, E&O insurance will cover it. Without it, you’d be at risk of paying for a lawyer and covering the damages the judge awards the client … leaving you wishing you’d opted for the minor cost of professional liability coverage.
You can also advertise your services the “old-fashioned” way, with your phone number printed on a business card! Check out: How to Choose a Design for Your Freelance Business Cards
Do you use your personal vehicle for any of your freelance work?
If so, your regular car insurance policy may not cover you if you’re in an accident.
Commercial auto coverage is necessary for any gig worker, whether you use your car to deliver goods or drive from place to place on the clock.
Your current auto insurance company might let you upgrade your policy to commercial coverage for a few dollars more. Or you may have to shop elsewhere as not all insurances carry commercial coverage.
Consider upgrading your policy if your business includes any of the following situations:
- You use your vehicle for obvious business purposes, such as making deliveries to clients’ homes or other establishments
- You drive your car to work sites or to meet with clients
- Employees drive your vehicle for work-related purposes
If you’re determined to keep your personal insurance carrier, you can always add commercial coverage through a separate company. Bundling both policies usually gives you reduced rates, and you can include other insurance coverage for extra discounts.
How tech-savvy are you?
If you’re like most of us, you know enough to use a computer to do your job, shop, and socialize. However, if you aren’t an IT specialist, your network is open to cybercriminals who know more about your security than you do.
Managing your clients’ sensitive information online can be dangerous. Without state-of-the-art security systems, you leave your computer open to cyber-attacks and set yourself up for data breach lawsuits.
Even mega corporations like eBay, Yahoo, and Marriott couldn’t keep their networks protected from cyber attacks, so it’s not about how “big” you are.
The Expenses of a Data Breach
Data breaches can happen to anyone. When they do, they’re never cheap. The average small business owner can face tens of thousands of dollars in damages from a security breach.
With cybersecurity insurance, you’re not responsible for paying those costs or the legal representation necessary to defend you.
You should have cyber insurance if you store information on your computer, including credit card or social security numbers or checking account data. The policy does the hard work for you, notifying any potentially affected customers of possible exposure and bringing in experts who can trace the breach.
- Pays for legal services to get you compliant with regulations
- Takes care of customer credit and fraud monitoring services to watch for identity theft
- Handles your business interruption expenses while you’re unable to work
Does your business rely on any special equipment as a primary source of work?
For example, what happens to your job if something happens to your computer and it doesn’t work anymore? Could you keep doing your Tasker tasks, or would you have to wait until you could repair or replace the equipment?
Equipment protection or breakdown insurance covers any damage to essential property caused by internal forces.
So, if your $10,000 copy machine or printer goes on the fritz because your toddler spilled their cup of juice on it, you don’t have to freak out (much). Your expensive equipment is protected, and so is your temporary loss of income.
Equipment Coverage Explained
Your policy kicks in when there’s damage to the covered equipment from a power surge, electrical short, mechanical breakdown, or even a standard operator error.
- Payment for repairing or replacing the damaged equipment
- Time and labor to fix it
- Any income you lose while you wait
It also covers spoiled inventory if the equipment was a freezer, refrigerator, or HVAC system.
Commercial Property and Business Owner’s Policies (BOP) are among the most popular kinds of coverage for freelancers and entrepreneurs.
These policies cover damages from unexpected events that don’t fall under general or professional liability.
Hazards such as theft and vandalism, riots, or certain natural disasters can destroy your business. BOP and commercial property insurance reduce the financial impact of these occurrences.
Your policy includes coverage for expenses such as lost income while your office or building is being repaired (or rebuilt) and relocation if necessary. If you still need to make payments on your lease, your BOP policy takes care of that for you.
Remember that you’ll need to check the fine print for the “natural disaster” clause. If your business is in a particular disaster area, like one rife with flooding or hurricanes, you may need to take out a rider or separate policy.
Last but not least is coverage to take care of your health. Although this insurance is essential, it’s often skipped by many people in the gig economy who think it will be too expensive to carry.
The good news is that many options give you at least some form of protection.
Gigly’s Indemnity Coverage
Gigly is a platform with everything a freelancer, independent contractor, or small business owner needs to build a successful career. The platform offers indemnity coverage to gig workers, so you can see any providers you want and pay a discounted rate.
Because Gigly partners with the Alliance of Gig Workers, members get benefits and insurance products at substantially reduced costs.
Your Gigly membership gives you indemnity coverage that buffers your healthcare costs. The small fees you pay Gigly to give you a significant return on your investment if you go to the doctor.
Small business owners and freelancers can apply for Healthcare Marketplace coverage, too. This program was launched during the Obama Administration as a way for everyone to be able to afford at least some kind of insurance.
Using your previous year’s income tax returns, you enter some basic information about yourself and your finances. From there, the system gives you a list of policies you qualify for and the costs with and without government subsidies.
You can filter the options by factors like:
- Deductible amounts
- Copays and coinsurance
- Preferred physicians
- Specific medications you take
- Monthly premiums
With your healthcare insurance policy, you’ll have the opportunity to sign up for vision and dental coverage for another small monthly premium.
Almost everyone is approved, regardless of preexisting conditions. It’s worth a try to see what your rates could be!
Related: What is Critical Illness Insurance?
The TaskRabbit Happiness Pledge is TaskRabbit’s way of offering some coverage, but it’s more like putting a bandaid on a wound. It might or might not work, and even if it does, it’s probably not going to be a good fix.
Take your business’s asset protection into your own hands with insurance policies you know are on your side, like Gigly’s indemnity healthcare options.
With the right coverage in place, you can confidently go full-time with your TaskRabbit work.