Self-employment in Maryland is on the rise. In some counties, such as Garrett, Kent, and Worcester, the self-employment rate is greater than 10%. Regardless of the kind of work you are doing, if you are self-employed, you can benefit from the protections offered by certain insurance policies.
Whether you are looking for affordable healthcare coverage or you need to cover a business you have set up, a local independent insurance agent can help. These agents are available to answer all your insurance-related questions and they can shop around to find great policies at competitive prices.
Set up a one-on-one consultation with an independent insurance agent near you to learn more.
What Kinds of Insurance Do Self-Employed Maryland Residents Need?
When you work for a large company, you can typically rely on getting benefits like subsidized health, dental, and life insurance through your job. But when you are working for yourself, you need to buy this coverage on your own.
Additionally, some self-employed people may need to look into other insurance products like workers’ compensation insurance, business liability insurance, and additional car liability insurance.
Local independent agents can help you with all of your insurance coverage needs.
What Are Some Health Insurance Options for the Self-Insured in Maryland?
One of the main benefits of working for a large corporation is that you can usually get access to affordable healthcare coverage through your employee benefits package.
If you are self-employed, however, you are on your own. You can get health insurance in one of three ways.
- Through the health insurance marketplace: This is government-subsidized health insurance that is provided that became available through the passage of the Affordable Care Act of 2010. It offers those without access to employer-provided health insurance to choose from different levels of coverage. Costs are based on your age, income, and the level of coverage you purchase.
- Through a private insurance carrier: If you prefer to purchase your health insurance on the private market, you may find that costs are significantly higher, but you may be able to get coverage with lower copays and deductibles. Independent insurance agents can help you review policies and costs.
- Through a medical sharing plan: This is not actually health insurance. Medical sharing plans are when an organization (usually a church or ministry) pools its money together to form a fund that can be drawn from by members to pay for health care costs. The major disadvantage is that some things may not be covered, and coverage is not guaranteed.
Keep in mind that when you are selecting a health insurance policy, there are several different types of coverage available including PPOs, HMOs, and managed care plans. These types of policies affect where and how you can receive care that will be covered.
Health insurance plans also come with different copays, deductibles, and prescription plans. This means that the policy with the lowest price might end up costing you more in the long run.
Local independent agents can help you review and understand your various options so that you can make an informed decision about which health insurance policy to purchase.
Where Can I Find Self-Employed Dental Insurance?
Dental insurance is usually rather affordable. Most plans will cover a cleaning and an exam twice a year but may charge you a copay or a percentage of the total cost for other treatments like fillings and root canals.
The cost of dental insurance is usually about the same as what you would pay for two cleanings without insurance. For some, it’s easier to spread these costs out over several months than pay them all at once. Also, this insurance will prove beneficial if you need to have additional dental work done.
At your request, an independent insurance agent can help you find a good dental insurance policy so that you and your dependents are covered.
What Do I Need to Know about Self-Employed Life Insurance?
As someone who is self-employed, purchasing a life insurance policy may be a good idea. This is particularly true if you have dependents who rely on you for financial support. The younger and healthier you are when you buy into life insurance, the less expensive it is.
When purchasing life insurance, you can choose between term and permanent policies.
Term Life Insurance
Term policies are valid for a specific amount of time, typically between 5 and 30 years. Once the term is up, the policy expires. These policies carry no cash value so they will not pay out unless the policyholder passes away while the policy is active.
The main advantage to term life insurance policies is that they provide an affordable way to purchase high amounts of coverage during the years you need them most, such as when you still owe a lot on your mortgage or have kids in school.
Permanent Life Insurance
Permanent policies, as the name suggests, last for as long as you continue paying the premiums. There are different types including whole life insurance and universal life insurance. These policies accumulate a cash value so they can be cashed in at any time if your financial circumstances make that necessary. Many people use permanent life insurance policies as investment vehicles.
The main advantages of permanent life policies are that they have cash value and that that you can lock in rates when you are young and carry them throughout your lifetime. However, these policies are far more expensive than term life policies.
The type of life insurance you purchase is a personal decision. You should base it on your life situation, financial stability, and long-term goals.
An independent insurance agent can explain in detail what each kind of policy can cover and can help you review customized rates. That way, you can make an informed decision.
Do Self-Employed People in Maryland Need Workers' Compensation Insurance?
With few exceptions, you are required by the state of Maryland to carry workers’ compensation insurance if you have at least one employee.
If you work on your own and have no employees, you do not need to purchase this coverage. However, if you have hired anyone to assist you, you will need to look into purchasing a policy.
Independent insurance agents can help you determine whether a policy is necessary, and, if so, can shop around to find you suitable coverage at a competitive price.
What Other Kinds of Insurance May Benefit Self-Employed Workers?
Some kinds of self-employment may necessitate you to find other kinds of policies besides health, dental, life, and workers’ compensation insurance. For instance, you may want to look into these policies.
- A business owners policy (BOP): If you have set up your self-employment as a business like a sole proprietorship or an LLC, you may want to consider purchasing a BOP, which can cover your business-owned property while offering you a measure of liability protection.
- Professional liability insurance: If you provide professional services, you have the potential to be sued if errors in judgment or other professional mistakes cause your clients large financial losses or other damage. Professional liability insurance can cover the related expenses.
- Car insurance addendum: If your self-employment job requires you to drive, such as if you do personal shopping and delivery or if you offer ride sharing services, your personal car insurance may not cover your liabilities if you are responsible for an accident while doing your job. An independent insurance agent can help you contact your car insurance company to see if they offer an addendum to provide additional coverage, and, if not, can help you find a policy that does.
No matter what your insurance coverage needs, a local independent insurance agent can help.
Where Can I Find the Best Self-Employed Insurance Policies in Maryland?
If you are among the many self-employed individuals living in Maryland, you can turn to a local independent agent for help with all of your insurance coverage needs. These agents work for you, not for a particular insurance company, so they can shop around to find you the best coverage at the most affordable prices.
There are more than 200 independent agents with offices in Maryland so it should be easy to find an insurance agent near you to get started.
TrustedChoice.com Article | Reviewed by Jeffrey Green
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