You like working with several different clients around North Carolina as an independent contractor. While your work provides you with a lot of freedom, it is not without its risks. What happens if you sustain an injury during a job?

Insureon breaks down how workers comp works for the self-employed and independent contractors. Learn how to respond to an accident now so you can act promptly if you ever injure yourself.

You can purchase your own policy

Depending on your industry, clients may request you provide your own workers’ comp coverage before doing business with you. This is for your physical protection, and it limits your client’s overall liability if you become injured. Even if you already have a personal health insurance policy, it may not cover injuries sustained while on the job, making it a good idea to get workers’ comp coverage even if clients do not require it.

You may have to cover your subcontractors

Maybe you occasionally hire subcontractors to help you with your work. Do your research to see if you have to provide them with workers’ comp coverage. Securing coverage even if your subcontractors have their own policy could be a state requirement.

Your clients can become penalized for not covering you

Say you work for a client who should have workers’ comp coverage for you, but fails to secure it. There are penalties for such situations. For instance, there are both civil and criminal fines. Additionally, a person can go to jail for failing to cover independent contractors. In some states, jail time can be for as many as 18 months. On a related note, be sure your clients classify you correctly. A client could misclassify you as an independent contractor when you are actually an employee.

This information is only intended to educate and should not be interpreted as legal advice.