Insure your business: people, life and health

Insurance protection for the self-employed

Guide

If you are self-employed, or you own a small business, it is very important that you carefully consider buying the right protection for your own personal needs.

Life and critical illness insurance

Life insurance - also called 'life assurance' - and critical illness insurance will pay out a lump sum on your death or the diagnosis of certain specified serious illnesses. Depending on your age, sex and health, this can be inexpensive yet valuable cover.

There are also different types of insurance designed to pay a regular income if you are unable to work because of illness or injury.

The benefit is agreed when you take out the policy. It is usually paid weekly or monthly and is subject to a maximum of two-thirds of your normal earned income, though it can be far lower.

The benefit is only paid while you are unable to work and continues for a limited period, often one or two years. Income protection insurance and personal accident and sickness insurance are both common names for policies of this type.

The terms and costs vary widely. Get advice from your independent financial adviser to make sure you choose a policy that's right for you.

Private medical insurance

Private medical insurance covers the cost of private medical treatment for acute conditions. It allows you to get treatment more quickly, or at a time of your choosing- so minimises the disruption to your business. There are different sorts of policies - from low cost with limited cover to those offering wide-ranging cover and benefits. These can be tailored to your needs.

Seek independent financial advice to make sure you get the right policies and a suitable level of cover.