As a freelancer, you may be without a safety net if you lose your ability to work—especially if you don’t want to rely on having a spouse with employee benefits. Well, here’s a start: in BC, you can opt for voluntary WorkSafeBC coverage. Yes, editing is a very safe job, but there’s still a risk of developing repetitive strain injuries, or neck and back problems.
Personal optional protection
WorkSafeBC offers personal optional protection for self-employed people. This will cover your lost income and pay your medical expenses if you are injured in your work. You can apply to cover from $1,500 to $6,492 of monthly gross salary, and because of the low workplace risk for editors, coverage is cheap. Editors fall into rate class 762043: Writing, Publishing, or Map Production (no printing). The rate for this classification is $.10 per $100 of coverage (2017 rate), so to cover a gross salary of $2,500 per month, the annual premium is $30.
You can’t apply for coverage if your business is incorporated; only the owners of proprietorships and partnerships are eligible (see item 12 on the application form).
Limitation of legal action
If you opt for WorkSafeBC coverage, you might be limiting your right to sue your client if you are injured on the job (see item 11 on the application form). This is the basic term of the “compensation bargain” behind mandatory worker coverage programs. The positive side is that some clients prefer to deal with contractors who have WCB insurance.