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Evmikna

Insurance And Liability

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I checked with my homeowner's policy. Outside of a slip and fall at my house, they will not cover anything "computer" related.

 

Does anyone have an insurance/liability policy? I am looking for coverage if...

--a security hack happens on a website that I maintain

--after performing SEO, my client wants to sue for not being #1 in Google for "red widgets"

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Those are outside of "homeowners" insurance. You need a business insurance policy.... but don't know if it will cover your particular examples.

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Guest Autocrat

If in the UK - you must have "public liability" insurance to trade, be it Sole Trader, Limited, Partnership or even Co-Op.

 

PL covers you for a certain amount of damages if clients/custoemrs etc. are somehow injured whilst attending your place of business. (Even if they don't come round and you are trading from your shed, you still need it).

 

 

Apart from pl, there are several other insurances that are worth considering - such as Professional Indemnity (incase you stuff up and/or get taken to court).

It may also be possible to get your Trading Terms insured/covered (first claim against you should be taken from that :D), and several other specifics for nasty occassions.

 

Best bet is to go talk to a couple of business advisers.

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Please note that I am not an attorney and the following should not be considered legal advice. Please consult an appropriate competent professional.

 

a security hack happens on a website that I maintain

 

This likely falls under 'Liability/Professional Indemity/E&O:Errors and Omissions' and (1) may be hard to get (2) may be expensive (3) may be revoked upon first claim. You would be wiser to have contract terms providing protection, certainly minimising available damages.

after performing SEO, my client wants to sue for not being #1 in Google for "red

 

This should be a contract matter - I suspect that it will be difficult/expensive to get coverage for breach of contract. Write a solid intelligent contract you can perform.

 

Generally business insurance falls into three categories:

  1. Property Coverage:
    • building and fixtures
    • contents (equipment, furniture, stock) - special riders for computer system (including equipment breakdown), software, and storage media are a must; perhaps also goods in transit, business personal property both off-premises and in-transit, etc.
    • commercial auto policy
    • personal injury

 

[*] Liability/Professional Indemity/E&O:Errors and Omissions:

  • breach of professional duty
  • breach of copyright
  • breach of confidentiality
  • libel and slander
  • loss of documents

 

[*] Business Interruption/Loss of Income/Keyman Coverage.

 

 

You may also require/want Worker's Compensation (I'm in Canada) coverage.

 

Yes I have insurance (most of the above). Note that some clients require certain minimum insurance coverage - especially Professional Indemity.

 

Costs vary.

Discuss your situation with at least three independant insurance brokers (it's free!) and your accountant (not free) to get an idea of probable needs and costs.

 

Know your applicable laws: some jurisdictions (as Autocrat mentioned) require certain coverages; some exclude certain businesses from the home - which could invalidate an insurance claim.

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Guest Autocrat

Take the advice from ...iamlost... seriously about the Terms and Conditions!

 

From now personal experience, you need seriously heavy T&C's to ensure that you are safe and that your client is protected equally - otherwise you are not only leaving yourself dangerously open if errors/mistakes occur, but also if you get an unpleasant client that decides to be nasty or dirty!

 

So be safe not sorry and go look around at some, and then get copies to a solicitor :)

 

 

Don't forget to come back and tell us how it goes :)

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If in the UK - you must have "public liability" insurance to trade, be it Sole Trader, Limited, Partnership or even Co-Op.

 

This isn't generally true. In the UK there are very few businesses that are required to get Public Liability insurance - a horse riding business would be an example of one that does. Web developers most definitely have no legal requirement for this.

 

However, if you are an employer, then it is likely you will need 'Employers liability compulsory insurance', but this is a different type of insurance to public liability.

 

Regardless of legal responsibility, I would suggest that if you visit clients or have then visit you that public liability is a must and it's usually quite cheap especially if you also take out professional indemnity at the same time (which I recommend whatever your situation).

 

--a security hack happens on a website that I maintain

--after performing SEO, my client wants to sue for not being #1 in Google for "red widgets

 

I would assume these would be covered under Professional Indemnity Insurance, e.g. where the client is suing you for negligence. It would be wise to ensure your contract clearly outlines your responsibilities especially with regard to customer's expectations and the scope of the work your carry out, thus avoiding any misunderstandings. In the case of SEO, if you are not willing to guarantee a particular ranking for the optimised key phrases, make sure you have a clause that says so and confirm this understanding with your client verbally when you go through the contract with him (ideally also cover this during the initial sales process). A clearly defined terms of service and good communication with your client will hopefully negate the need for legal action in the first place.

Edited by shadowbox

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Guest Autocrat

Darn it... I cannot find the reference I got that from.

I know that all startup businesses in teh UK are being told it is a legal requirement for trading.

But it was on a site as well... (did you look at businesslink by any chance ;)).

 

If I can dig it out, I'll post it.

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did you look at businesslink by any chance

 

Yes, for this kind of stuff I always double check my initial thoughts before posting - businesslink is a great resource for anything relating to UK business law and accounting

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Welcome to Cre8asite, shadowbox.

 

:wave:

 

I look forward to more of your posts. It sounds like you have the contract thing down pat. :D

 

It would be wise to ensure your contract clearly outlines your responsibilities especially with regard to customer's expectations and the scope of the work your carry out, thus avoiding any misunderstandings. In the case of SEO, if you are not willing to guarantee a particular ranking for the optimised key phrases, make sure you have a clause that says so and confirm this understanding with your client verbally when you go through the contract with him (ideally also cover this during the initial sales process). A clearly defined terms of service and good communication with your client will hopefully negate the need for legal action in the first place.

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Welcome to Cre8asite, shadowbox.

 

wavey.gif

 

I look forward to more of your posts. It sounds like you have the contract thing down pat. smile.gif

 

Thank you. I spend a lot of time helping out over at the Sitepoint Legal/Business sub forum, so hopefully I can help out over here too :)

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