One of the little details that had to be taken care of when I left the State's employ was professional liability insurance. As an employee of the State, my work was covered because I was a State official doing an official assignment from the State; now, though, I'm not. My work is covered by... gulp... me.
Which is not to say that I PLAN ON having any issues; no, indeed, I don't plan on them. But I believe that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, as they say. This is my "rainy-day fund" for the business. So I've applied for and received Professional Liability coverage (Errors & Omissions, many call it) for any work I do effective today, 8/19/2011, in my court reporting business as a freelance reporter. PHEW.
For a few hundred dollars a year, I've now covered myself in case of a catastrophic event - like my equipment being stolen or my house having fire damage, etc., and having to recreate the record at my own expense. I'm not inviting that to happen, but life is crazy and it's better for my peace of mind to pay a little than to lose a lot.
Also on the table? Thoughts of: added life insurance, disability insurance (and I already have my 'inland marine' policy for my equipment). If you're an independent contractor and you don't have this kind of coverage, please - PLEASE - consider adding it. You never know what might happen in the future, whether a disaster or a medical problem or something completely unthinkable; won't you sleep better knowing you've planned for it?