As an SEO consultant you probably already know a thing or two about risk. SEO in general is all about taking calculated risks. Should I disavow this link? Is this page too spammy? Am I using too many keywords?
Just know this: if you are starting to get some larger contracts and want to really start banking the big time contracts, most companies will actually require that you have one or more types of these insurances.
A few notes: This post pretty much applies to SEO consultants here in the USA. I am unaware if this applies to folks outside of the USA. And a disclaimer: I am definitely not an expert on this subject so if you see any errors please don’t kill me (if you do, I’m insured so just know that).
I’ve been lucky enough to have a friend in the insurance business that has walked me through the different types of coverage that an SEO consultant might need. Let me start by giving you a rundown of some of the types of insurance you can / might want to get.
General Liability Insurance
This type of insurance is probably the most common type of insurance for SEO consultants. General liability insurance can cover a ton of different things, examples include:
- physical bodily injury while on an SEO job (camera boom knocks you unconscious, bitten by wild Penguin)
- damage caused to your office
- advertising “injuries” – this one is a big one in that it can help you if there has been damages caused by an ad, content, or even if you are charged with taking an image from a copyrighted website
- can pay for legal fees
Professional Liability Insurance
For an SEO this is probably the 2nd most common type of insurance to get if not a close tie for first with general liability. I’ve also heard this type of insurance known as “malpractice insurance” or a few other things. Professional liability can cover things like:
- if you were negligent in any way providing SEO services. E.g. you are being sued for spamming the crap out of someone’s website with backlinks and now they are penalized
- you guaranteed top rankings in a contract and it is being disputed
- provided a poor end result product such as a shoddy website
I’ve had malpractice insurance now for about 5 years, luckily I’ve never had to use it however I have consulted with my insurance broker a few times.
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Again this is just example data that I came up with based on my own calculations, actual amounts will vary.
Business Income Coverage
This type of insurance is good for when you lose income either temporarily or if you become unemployed. If you are an SEO consultant, you should really take a look at this one. When I was first starting out I remember going from “zero to hero (and back to zero again” almost on a month to month basis.
You can’t control what a client is going to do. Many times SEO consultants will have 3-4 clients paying a few thousand per month. If 1-2 of those cancel that puts a serious dent into your repertoire.
There are also a number of different options you can get with this plan that will of course cost more money such as dependent coverage or utility services.
Equipment Breakdown Insurance
Most individual SEO consultants probably won’t need this type of coverage, but if you are starting to grow its something you might think about. The average SEO consultant at the very least has the following devices:
- Router / Modem
If any of these fail it can really hurt your business. But this coverage covers more than just replacing the equipment itself it can cover costs associated with the labor it takes to replace the equipment or other related expenses. Just something to think about.
Other types of insurance for SEO consultants
If you really start to dig deep into the world of insurance coverage, you start to see that there are dozens of different types of insurance that may apply to your business. There is a type of insurance called “errors and omissions” that cover losses made due to an error or an omission made in a contract or document. This can be useful if you sent something to the printer and they omitted something big.
You can also combine different types of insurance to get a better rate. For instance if you combine general and professional liability you will most likely receive a better rate.
In addition to insurance you can also get bonding. This is kind of like insurance but it protects your SEO client in case you do shoddy work. From a sales perspective it is really good to be bonded because it will show your potential client that they are covered in case of damages.
And that’s about all I know. If you’d like more information I can put you in touch with my insurance broker who can hook you up if you are in need of some “SEO insurance.” Thanks!