Whether it’s selling handmade crafts, operating a part-time tuisnywerheid or doing freelance writing, graphic design, photography or programming, a side hustle is a great way to supplement your income and pursue your passions. By some estimates, a quarter of South Africans are pursuing a hustle or job on the side, in addition to their primary employment.
As rewarding as running a side hustle can be, it’s also risky. The insurance policies you have for your home building and contents as well as your car might not cover your business activities. That means you could be left holding the bag if, for example, you have an accident while you’re delivering the handcrafted cakes you bake in your side bakery business, or the dog you’re pet-sitting bites a child while you’re taking it for a walk.
Here are three ways insurance can help protect you and your side hustle if something goes wrong:
Protect your personal property
If you’re running a side business in your spare time, you’re probably using some of your personal stuff to get the work done. For example, if you’re a photography enthusiast, you might decide to run a side business taking wedding pics. Your personal insurance might not cover you if you get robbed while you’re doing a job. The losses for your photography equipment could total hundreds of thousands of rand in replacement costs and lost revenue.
Or imagine there’s a fire in your home that destroys your entire jewellery-making workspace, including all your craft supplies and completed products. In each of these instances, property insurance covers the cost of replacing your lost work tools and materials. Without it, you would have to bear these significant costs out of pocket, which could be financially devastating and potentially put an end to your side hustle.
Safeguard yourself from public liability claims
Public liability insurance shields you and your side hustle against claims that could otherwise have a significant financial impact. It’s critical if your business interacts with the public and enables you to operate with confidence. If you accidentally injure someone or damage their stuff while providing a service, liability insurance would cover the costs of any legal fees, settlements, or judgments. Or if you run a handyman business and someone trips over your toolbox and hurts themself, they could try to hold you responsible. Another example: You’re an interior decorator and accidentally spill paint on a client’s expensive carpet.
Cover yourself for professional indemnity
This protects you against financial or legal costs in the event of a third-party claim as a result of actual or alleged negligence when providing a professional service or advice. Even though you are professional, competent and careful, it’s easy to make a mistake. For example, a designer could get some brochures printed at great cost but miss a small typo that means they all need to be thrown out. Or as an accountant, you could miss a SARS filing submission deadline because you were distracted by a personal emergency. The client might seek recourse for the fines and penalties.
Once you’ve determined what type of insurance you need, it’s important to shop around and compare policies from different providers. Make sure you understand the coverage limits, excesses, and premiums for each policy, and don’t be afraid to ask questions if you’re unsure about something. The good news is that business insurance is simpler than it used to be, with a growing selection of options for side hustlers and the self-employed.
Comparing and Choosing the Best Policies
It’s no longer necessary to endure long phone calls to multiple brokers and insurers, sift through complex paperwork, or put up with poor service levels. With today’s digital insurance platforms, you can answer a few quick questions, receive multiple quotes and buy online within a matter of minutes. As your side business grows, you can take out more comprehensive insurance to protect it.
Side hustles offer you a path to financial independence in South Africa’s diverse and dynamic economy. But there are risks along with this opportunity. Securing appropriate business insurance for your side hustle can give you peace of mind that you’re safeguarding your hustle. That leaves you free to concentrate on growing your business.
Bi-me (Business Insurance Made Easy) offers instant business insurance as fast as you can click. Bi-me is a trusted online platform that makes it quick, easy and affordable for small and medium enterprise owners to purchase business insurance. Companies can buy insurance specific to their sector and customised for their needs in under 10 minutes.
*This is general information only and does not take into account your financial situation, needs, or specific objectives. As with any insurance, the cover will be subject to the terms, conditions, and exclusions contained in the policy wording.