OFFICE for National Statistic (ONS) figures have revealed that 12.5 per cent of the Yorkshire workforce are now self-employed.

And, according to UNA, an organisation owned equally by 12 of the UK’s largest independent regional insurance brokers, that is reshaping the general attitude towards business and creating additional insurance needs.

Tim Ryan, executive chairman at UNA, believes that to continue the economic recovery, those in self-employment must give serious consideration to the wide range of risks they are exposed to by assuming a self-employed status.

UK self-employment grew eight per cent in the past year; quicker than in almost any other European country.

“The financial crisis has reshaped the general attitude towards individuals pursing business in a self-employed capacity and the insurance sector is ready to respond," said Mr Ryan. “These figures thrust insurance needs into the spotlight as this growing trend breeds additional risks and cover requirements, some which may not be glaringly obvious to new start-ups and one-man-bands.”

UNA believes that workers, who are moving from employment to self-employment, must not fail to recognise the new risks they face.

Mr Ryan added: “Income protection, pensions and critical illness cover all need to be considered, as well as liability and any property that belongs to them in a business capacity.

"When you are moving from a staff job to self-employment, you need to think about how to cope with sickness or an accident that leaves you unable to work. Yet this is also the time when you are most likely to be short of cash.

"You will lose the sick pay, maternity leave and other benefits that came with employment, plus you will not have access to a workplace pension scheme. It is vital that the self-employed leave no stone unturned.

“If you work from home on a regular basis, you must also be aware of the pitfalls involved. Mortgage lenders can prove to be quite problematic if a home gradually evolves into a business premises, and home insurers can void policies unless the change of use is disclosed.

"Whilst the numbers of those in self-employment are growing, it is vital for them to consider their insurance requirements from all angles and to do so it’s best to seek the advice of a broker who is experienced at recognising risks, and can normally provide a range of appropriate solutions.”