Without a doubt, the self-employed sector has been one of the most badly hit by the coronavirus health crisis. The closure of many businesses and the lack of activity during the state of emergency has placed these professionals in a critical situation that, unfortunately, has continued to worsen after restrictions have been lifted.
Unable to reopen
According to a recent survey by ATA (Association of Self-Employed Workers), although 90 percent of these professionals have managed to resume their work, their average business has fallen by 60 percent compared to the previous year. For many of these professionals, reopening has become synonymous with losing money.
The best barometer
The insurance sector understood the seriousness of this situation right from the outset of the crisis. It so happens that many self-employed professionals are suppliers to insurance companies: home repairs, car workshops, tow truck drivers, medical centers, etc.
This special close relationship has been the best barometer to identify the needs of these professionals and to implement measures to help them in this situation. For example, some insurers discounted part of the insurance premiums taken out during the state of emergency. They also offered the possibility of splitting payments and, above all, they doubled the staff offering information and advisory services: public aid approved by the Government, tax deferrals, credit applications, administrative procedures, etc.
Income Tax in 2019
Another additional headache was that, regardless of whether the business activities of self-employed professionals had been affected by COVID-19, these workers had to file their 2019 Income Tax return in a timely manner. The insurance sector offered free tax advice services.
All these measures are simply a logical continuation of the support and empathy that insurance companies were already extending to this sector. There is no question that the insurance industry will continue to work on specific actions to help the business activities of self-employed professionals to recover from this major downturn.