A Guide to Web Designers’ Insurance
Working out what insurance you need is tricky. How do you know where’s best to put your money? It’s likely your decision is a best guess – and a compromise between what you want, what you can afford and what you can understand.
But, deciding on ‘the what’ is easier if you know ‘the why’. Finding out what risks you face makes preparing for them easy. To do that you need to split your work into four parts: what you do, where you do it, who does it for you and what you use to do it. Each one has its own make-your-life-more-difficult potential.
Here’s what you need to know:
What you do – covered by professional indemnity insurance
Creating impact with new tech and standout visuals carries kudos. But it also means your work is very much in the public domain. Your clients know this too, and they only want the best material representing their business.
So your insurance has to cover the possibility of a disgruntled client pointing their finger in your direction, and the possibility of an unrelated third party claiming they had your idea first. It’s all about self-preservation, really.
For example, if your client’s shiny new website doesn’t do what they asked, or fails completely, they have a right to claim their losses – actual or alleged – from you.
And claims of copyright infringement and intellectual property theft are common among web designers. Using third party content (music, images, video) without the right licences is an easy and expensive mistake. There’s no hiding from Getty Images.
Either way, if you’re on the receiving end of a claim you have to defend yourself or risk losing by default. But that takes time, money and expertise. And you’ll need all three if you want to keep your business and your reputation in one piece.
Professional indemnity insurance covers the consequences of your mistakes (‘bad’ design or a website breaking), as well as other people having a pop at your work.
It pays for your defence and, if necessary, the cost of fixing the problem or compensating your client. You get business as usual, all for a couple of hundred quid a year.
Get a quote for professional indemnity insurance
Where you do it – covered by public liability insurance
You’ve heard of ‘where there’s blame there’s a claim’, right? Well, unfortunately, it’s true. Any business that has visitors or goes out and about to their clients’ offices runs the risk of breaking something or someone.
Spilling your coffee on a client’s MacBook or having a client trip on your loose carpet can have expensive and time-consuming consequences. It usually takes more than a plaster and a sympathetic word to fix, too.
Public liability insurance covers third party personal injury or property damage claims against you. It pays for a specialist solicitor to defend you and compensates your hard-done-by client. With any luck, it repairs your working relationship too.
Get a quote for public liability insurance
Who does it for you – covered by employers’ liability insurance
This one’s slightly different because employers’ liability insurance is the only one that’s legally required.
If you have employees, even if it’s just the one, then the law says you need it.
It covers claims made against you by employees who suffer some kind of injury or illness at work and deem it’s your fault. Best not ditch that health and safety manual just yet then.
The HSE has a wide definition of employee, including: volunteers, labour only subcontractors, work experience kids, interns, temps, secondees, apprentices and staff borrowed from other businesses. Read their guidelines and make sure you know where you stand. They hand out substantial fines to corner-cutters.
Get a quote for employer's liability insurance
What you use to do it – covered by property insurance
Do you travel with a laptop or tablet? Brilliant. Just try not to leave it on the train. Because if you do it’s not just an expensive inconvenience – it’s a potential deadline wrecker too.
Can you complete your contracts without your tools of the trade? Probably not, so insuring your equipment is a no-brainer. However, making sure you have enough of the right sort of cover is the tricky bit. It should cover everything you use – in the office and when you’re out and about – in separate policy sections. Time to grab the calculator and tot it all up.
It’s best to go for an ‘all risks’ policy too. This means you’re covered for fire, flood, theft, loss, accidental damage, meteor strike etc.
And a decent insurer will get replacements first and sort the claim out after. It’s worth doing a bit of research into this – you get what you pay for and the cheapest doesn’t necessarily mean the best.
Get a quote for property insurance
The UKWDA has partnered with PolicyBee to offer members 10% off professional indemnity insurance.
Get a quote today.