Translators\' Liability Insurance
Thread poster: dnewby19

Local time: 18:46
Jul 10, 2002

I\'ve just recieved an application from a translation agency that states that I need to have professional liability/errors and omissions insurance in order to recieve work from them. I\'m sure that it\'s a good idea to have it, but I have the impression that most other translators get by without it, and there are plenty of other things that I\'d rather spend the money on. That is, of course, unless a substantial proportion of agencies require it-- could anyone tell me if that is the case?

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BelkisDV  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 18:46
Spanish to English
+ ...
My opinion Jul 10, 2002

If they can guarantee you a contract for a substantial amount of work for a prolonged period of time, I would do it. However, chances are that they won\'t. I know the ATA offers such type of insurance, but I am not aware of anyone who actually has it.



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Jack Doughty  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 23:46
Member (2000)
Russian to English
+ ...
UK situation Jul 10, 2002

Things may not be the same here as they are in the USA, but I found a few years ago that many agencies were demanding this type of coverage (usually called Professional Indemnity Insurance here, let\'s call it PII for short) and took out a policy myself.

More recently, the ITI (Institute of Translation & Interpreting - more or less equivalent to ATA) has taken to offering its members FREE PII (no such thing as a free lunch? Well, no, there isn\'t really, because the ITI subscription is very high) and seems to be working towards requiring it as a condition of membership.

On the other hand, I have never had to claim on PII and have never heard of anyone else who has.

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Christina Clark  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:46
English to Danish
+ ...
DK situation same as UK Jul 11, 2002

Well, almost. In Denmark two of the biggest translator\'s associations offer indemnity insurance at a discounted rate when you become a member. Personally, I think it\'s a good idea to have insurance. I have never had to use it, and hope I never will. Just as I hope, I never have to use either mine or my husband\'s life insurance!

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Ursula Derx  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:46
Member (2005)
English to German
Situation in Austria Jul 11, 2002

In Austria the professional organisation for translators also offers this type of insurance. I haven\'t taken it up so far! Reason for me is that at the same time they offer standard general terms and conditions and recommend translators to state that these terms and conditions apply, when taking up a job.

The conditions read that liability is fairly limited:


Whenever I work for an agency where this is an issue, I quote the respective paragraph and stick to it.

Normally, customers don\'t assume that the translator is fully responsible for the text, e.g. if it is a contract. In most cases a contract has to be \"localized\" by a juridical person after translation.

What I find quite \"dangerous\" are medical texts, like descriptions for surgeons or similar. I usually cooperate with a doctor in such cases.

Does anyone have experiences on liability charges, real cases where damages had to be paid? I\'ve never heard of anything.

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Mats Wiman  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:46
Member (2000)
German to Swedish
+ ...

Made up artificial problem IMNSHO opinion Jul 11, 2002

These theme comes up every second month and everybody talks about it but almost nobody needs it (No single witness so far).

Besides being illogical, my personal experience is that the two agencies having demanded it (during 6 years) are not worth working for anyway (unpolite, unprofessional non-linguists etc)

So my conclusion is: NEVER

I can elaborate if someone is interested.


[ This Message was edited by: on 2002-07-11 11:01 ]

[ This Message was edited by: on 2002-07-11 18:18 ]

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