I'm a contractor: should I get health insurance through my business?
The coronavirus pandemic is slowly but surely dying down, and lockdown is finally starting to ease. Some semblance of normality is only a couple of weeks away, and there're many things to do to make sure you're prepared, as a contractor, for getting back to work.
One of the most important things to get organised early on is business insurances. You'll most likely already be aware of the usual set that clients ask for - professional indemnity, public liability, and IR35 insurance if you run a limited company - but protecting yourself is equally paramount for peace of mind. This is where health insurance through your business comes in.
We take a look at what exactly health insurance through your business can offer over taking out a more mainstream personal or corporate plan, and help you identify what a good policy should include.
Why should I get health insurance through my limited company?
There are many benefits to taking out healthcare cover at the same time as your usual business insurance package:
Running your own business takes a whole lot of time and energy, making shopping around for things like health insurance difficult to shoehorn into your day. Being able to take out a policy at the same time as the rest of your business cover means one more job ticked off the list.
On the flip side, securing a convenient doctor's appointment (particularly given current circumstances) is often challenging. A good healthcare policy will grant you access to phone consultations, 24/7 medical advice, and a prescription delivery service, proving that taking care of work and your health aren't mutually exclusive.
Designed to meet the needs of the self-employed and SMEs
Many existing health insurance plans don't meet the needs of the self-employed. Personal plans are expensive and often don't offer extensive cover for the money, while employee benefits packages are usually geared up for more corporate companies with a large number of staff.
Healthcare cover through your limited company can be tailored to as little or much as you need. A good policy will offer a solo level for just yourself or a larger package that can include a couple of employees or extend to cover family members like a spouse and children. It'll also charge a flat rate across all ages to make organising your business finances a little easier.
Health insurance through your limited company can help get more mileage out of your money, with access to high-quality cover that usually costs an arm and a leg (excuse the pun) through personal or corporate providers.
As well as offering flat-rate pricing as we mentioned above, a policy worth spending your hard-earned cash on will take the middle-man - i.e. you - out of any healthcare bills. This means that the insurer should pay any private medical invoices direct without you having to front the cost and spend time claiming it back at a later date; a better arrangement for both your wallet and your mental health.
Quick and simple to take out cover
When applying for health insurance, it's common to be met with an onslaught of detailed, personal questions about your (and your family's) medical history. Aside from the distressing exercise of having to work out how many units of alcohol you actually consume during the average week, it can take a long time to complete the form - time which many business owners don't really have.
Healthcare cover aimed at the self-employed is designed to be as quick and easy as possible to take out, with medical questions kept to a minimum and regular health MOT kits sent to your door to keep you in tip-top shape.
Back to your business quicker than ever
As your own boss, you can theoretically take all the sick leave you need with no questions asked. However, through a combination of personal responsibility for keeping the business afloat and a direct impact on income for a day's work missed, the self-employed unsurprisingly don't take very much down-time at all.
As well as remote GP sessions, a prescription delivery service, and inclusive physio sessions, a good healthcare policy through your business will give you all the benefits of private medical insurance (unlimited hospital treatment at the right cover level, as well as access to specialists) that cash plans don't offer, or limit considerably.
Brokered through a trusted source
Typically, as a contractor, you have a few companies that you have to work with to keep your business ticking over. These are usually in the realms of equipment or material providers, business consultants, marketing professionals, accountants, and an insurance broker.
Taking out health insurance shouldn't be taken lightly and being able to rely on your regular business insurance broker to find the best policy for your business, your family, and you as an individual, is an important factor in getting excellent cover for the right price.
Where can I get health insurance as a business policy?
Kingsbridge has just teamed up with Equipsme to develop affordable health insurance plans, underwritten by AXA and created specifically for the self-employed, that do all of the above and more.
Our healthcare cover is priced at a flat rate for ages 16-59, and policyholders can add a partner and up to 6 children to the plan. Unlike many other business healthcare insurance providers, Equipsme doesn't ask complex medical questions when taking out the cover - they simply exclude conditions that existed in the three years before cover starts instead. The policies also include a 24/7 stress and counselling helpline, on-demand medical advice from registered nursing staff, up to 5 sessions of physiotherapy treatment, unlimited online GP appointments, and private medical insurance levels of cover at an affordable price.