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Professional indemnity insurance defends you against claims of negligence, breach of confidentiality, dishonesty, libel and slander. We offer up to £10,000,000 cover.
Some mistakes easy to spot are.
0thers might need a second look.
In any case, your clients rely on your unerring ability to find the inconsistent, the inaccurate and the plain wrong. And then make them right. Miss something you should’ve picked up, though, and fixing it will cost time and money – two things your client won’t want to spend (but will expect you to).
Even if you’re sure there’s no cause for complaint, insurance for editors and proofreaders helps. If a client claims your mistake has cost them, your policy pays your legal costs and picks up the tab for any damages or compensation you’re liable for.
A quick glance around the internet tells you that basic spelling, grammar and punctuation is beyond a worryingly high number of people.
You can probably forget about more complex issues such as tone and style, content structure, image use, legality, formatting etc too.
All of which, let’s face it, is good news for you. Who better to unravel the mysteries of the English language and bring clarity and accuracy where there is none? It’s certainly what your clients pay you for.
And there’s the rub. They pay you because you’re an expert and they want the benefit of that expertise. When their website goes live or their book’s published, for example, they want it to be perfect. Anything less will not only make them look unprofessional, it’ll cost them money to put right.
Your legal and moral ‘duty of care’ to your paying clients means they have a right to claim against you if you make a mistake or you haven’t done what you said you would, and they’ve suffered financially. Even if you’re sure you’re in the clear, you still have to fight your corner – do nothing and you’ll lose a claim by default.
Either way, negligence allegations are no good for your reputation or your bank balance.
That’s when editors’ and proofreaders’ professional indemnity insurance steps in. Your policy gives you the three things you need when things go wrong: time, money and legal expertise.
Your insurer takes on your case, paying a specialist solicitor to defend you, fixing what’s wrong, and compensating the aggrieved party if you’re liable. You get to keep doing business as usual.
The thing about editors’ and proofreaders’ insurance is that it protects your business. No one else’s.
That’s an important point because it means you need a level of cover that’s right for you, rather than what everyone else has.
To do that you need to consider a number of things, starting with the worst-case scenario.
Because professional indemnity insurance exists to fix your mistakes, you need to think about the worst (most expensive) mistake you can make (or be accused of making). How much damage can you cause a client?
Think about the kind of clients you have and the work you do for them. Are they multinationals with global exposure or smaller, local businesses? Are the words for internal or external use? How much are they paying you?
Consider that defending a negligence claim, regardless of validity, can cost tens of thousands of pounds. An associated damages award is likely to run into hundreds of thousands. Your level of cover needs to be enough to handle everything.
You can never have too much insurance, of course, but that costs money. Getting the balance right isn’t easy, so give yourself a head start by reading how to work out your level of cover.
Negligence claims and allegations made against you by clients and third parties, because of mistakes you’ve made and things you’ve failed to do.
Specifically (but depending on the policy wording):
But that’s not all. Some professional indemnity policies can fix a mistake before your client is even aware of it, thereby preventing a claim in the first place.
Public liability insurance is for when you go out and about on business, or have visitors to your office. It covers third-party claims of physical damage to property and people. Useful if you’re clumsy.
Employers’ liability insurance covers your business if an employee sues it for damages. Claims are usually because they’ve suffered injuries and illnesses as a result of working for you. It’s a legal requirement for UK businesses with employees (including unpaid staff such as work experience kids and volunteers).
Office and property insurance covers the things in your office (furniture, plants, fixed IT equipment etc) and portable insurance covers gadgets and technical equipment away from your office (laptops, tablets, projectors etc). If you’re not sure it’s worth insuring, add it all up – it’s probably worth more than you think.
Business interruption insurance means you can still work when your office is out of action. Be it flood, fire or flea infestation, you’re covered for the costs of setting up elsewhere and for any lost revenue in that time.
Directors’ and officers’ insurance covers your company bosses. Anyone from regulators to shareholders to competitors can accuse you of not running a business with due care. Worse, directors are personally liable for their actions. The good thing is this insurance covers your defence costs and any compensation you have to pay. So you can put away your chequebook.