Fuelled by the internet-driven remote work phenomenon, the demand for virtual assistants in Canada continues to rise as businesses of all sizes in any industry look to reduce their overhead costs.

As one of many recession-proof professions, virtual assistants are independent, self-employed contractors who typically work out of their homes, providing their clients with administrative, customer service, technical, and other support services. 

Working offsite from where their clients are located, virtual assistants can help small business owners by tackling the more mundane, time-consuming, but necessary tasks of running a company allowing owners to concentrate on generating revenue.

A virtual assistant helping one of her clients.

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However, these administrative and tech-savvy professionals face noteworthy perils on multiple fronts requiring a sound risk management strategy anchored by a virtual assistant insurance policy to cover them if something goes awry.

What Risks Do Virtual Assistants Face?

There are several reasons why a virtual assistant needs a business insurance policy. After all, virtual assistants have access to their clients’ confidential or mission-critical data and are responsible for keeping that data safe. 

Some of the risks virtual assistants may face include the following:

  • Accidentally deleting or sharing a client’s customer relationship management (CRM) data.
  • Publishing a comment or image on a client’s social media channels that goes sideways and causes the client reputational harm.
  • Not having adequate cybersecurity measures in place to protect a client’s data, financial information, and personal information or your client’s customer-related information and the information is stolen in a cyber-attack.
  • If a virtual assistant works out of their home and a fire or flood damages your property, contents, and electronics.
  • Being sued by a client for mistakes or wrongdoing or being named in a lawsuit along with one of your clients.
  • Visiting a client’s office for a meeting and accidentally injuring them by spilling a hot beverage on them or damaging an expensive item in their office by mistake.

Moreover, whether you opt to join a virtual assistant association or firm that helps you find work as a virtual assistant, the clients you want to work for may not hire you if you don’t have a valid insurance policy.

What Does a Virtual Assistance Insurance Policy Include?

Although the policy you choose is tailored to address the services you provide, a typical virtual assistant insurance policy may include:

  • Errors and omissions (E&O) insurance: Also called professional liability insurance, E&O insurance covers your professional services if you are facing allegations of or lawsuits claiming negligence, misconduct, errors, and failure to deliver a service as promised. 
  • Commercial general liability (CGL) insurance: CGL or general liability insurance covers the cost of third-party bodily injury and property damage claims or lawsuits arising from accidents or negligence. It also includes coverage against allegations of defamation, libel, and slander.
  • Commercial property insurance: Think of commercial property insurance as protection for the property where you work, whether from a home-based office or a business space you own, rent, or lease. For instance, it covers repairing or replacing your physical space and contents if damaged or destroyed by fire, flood, theft, or vandalism.
  • Cyber liability insurance: You work remotely and online as a virtual assistant. Including cyber liability insurance as part of your policy is crucial because it covers costs associated with data breaches and all kinds of cyber-attacks, including phishing and ransomware attacks.

There may be additional coverages your policy requires. For example, if you use a vehicle as part of your work for clients, you may need commercial auto insurance included in your policy.

How to Get a Virtual Assistant Insurance Policy

Getting the insurance protection you need can be confusing and, sometimes, expensive. But that’s where we come in: Zensurance makes getting virtual assistant insurance quick, easy, and affordable. 

Find out for yourself: fill out an online application for a free quote. We’ll shop the market for you to get you the best price. If you have a question about your policy and coverage details, our friendly insurance experts are ready to answer your questions and customize the policy to suit your specific requirements.

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About the Author: Justin Tisdale

Justin Tisdale is a Team Lead, Professional Lines, at Zensurance.