Where you have a wealth of choice when it comes to providers of services and products, it is important to shop around.

There are many umbrella companies in the UK and while the services they provide will largely be the same, however the level of customer service that you receive will differ between providers. The main difference between them will revolve around customer service. You should take into consideration how efficient each organisation is, the levels of service they provide and several other issues.

There are several questions you can ask each umbrella company to help you determine which is the most suitable for you.

Below, we look at some of these questions and why it is important that you ask them.

1. What services do they offer?

Employment services provided will vary between umbrella companies and it is important to understand fully the services on offer.

2. How long has the company been offering umbrella services?

Asking this question will give you some idea of the experience and expertise at the company. You could also enquire about how many contractors they have working for them to help get an idea for the standing the company has in the industry.

3. Will I have my own dedicated account manager?

Some umbrella companies offer this benefit and some do not. Many contractors prefer working through an umbrella company that does assign them their own account manager, as it gives them a single point of contact should they need to discuss any issues.

4. What insurance is included in the package?

Typically, as an employee of the umbrella company, you will be covered for public liability, employers’ liability insurance and professional indemnity insurance.

5. How often will you get paid?

Some umbrella companies pay on receipt of your timesheet, while others have fixed payment dates. It is important to be aware of the system they use for your own financial management.

6. How quickly will you get paid?

Will you be paid by CHAPS, meaning you get your money the same day, or will you have to wait a few days for a BACS payment to clear? Again, you need to know this so you can plan your financial arrangements accordingly.

These are just some of the questions you need to ask umbrella companies. You also need to enquire about their levels of customer service.

Comparing different umbrella companies can be time consuming, however, the benefits of doing so make it worthwhile.