liability insurance in Germany
Thread poster: Katherine Bruss
Katherine Bruss
Local time: 09:03
German to English
Feb 12, 2007

I recently started working part-time (max.Euro 800/month) as a freelance translator. I got a quote for liability insurance of Euro 500/year and thought it was awfully high, especially considering my income.
Do you other translators in Germany and Europe have this insurance? Is it worth getting or necessary?
Also I work for an agency. I have never signed any kind of a contract with them. So, wouldn't they be liable instead of me?
Thanks.


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Andy Lemminger  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 01:03
Member (2002)
English to German
Liability Feb 13, 2007

Hi Kate,

As far as I know the agency is always liable towards the client.

That doesn't release you from your liability though.
If you caused a claim the agency might claim their damages back from you. It doesn't matter at all if you signed a contract with the agency.

Best regards

Andy

www.interlations.com


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Katherine Bruss
Local time: 09:03
German to English
TOPIC STARTER
Liability when working for one client Feb 13, 2007

Hi Andy,

Thanks for your reply. I am working for only one agency in Austria. This would mean that I could claim, if necessary, that I am not a freelancer at all, but actually one of their employees. (I don't know the English-Scheinselbstständig).
Do I still need the insurance in this case?
I plan to talk to a lawyer soon and will post what I find out.

Thanks


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RobinB  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 09:03
German to English
No cross-border "Scheinselbständigkeit" Feb 13, 2007

Kate1966 wrote:
I am working for only one agency in Austria. This would mean that I could claim, if necessary, that I am not a freelancer at all, but actually one of their employees. (I don't know the English-Scheinselbstständig).
Do I still need the insurance in this case?
I plan to talk to a lawyer soon and will post what I find out.


According to your profile, you live in Germany. The "dependent self-employment" (aka "bogus self-employment) rules don't apply across borders, but even if they did, the downside to you of Scheinselbständigkeit far outweighs any potential benefits as regards liability insurance.

As far as the actual liability itself is concerned, you have a general BGB liability over and above any express or implied contractual liability. Liability is one of those things you can't just walk away from.

The cost of Vermögenshaftpflicht insurance (the German equivalent of errors and omissions insurance) must always be measured against the risks, and that will always be an individual decision. I don't suppose that insurers are particularly interested in tailoring a package for somebody earning as little as you do, hence the rather high cost compared with your revenue. Incidentally, the very low sums involved mean that you may find that the Finanzamt will try to classify your part-time work as a "hobby" (Liebhaberei) and deny you the possibility of claiming expenses related to that revenue. Yet another factor to be considered, I'm afraid...


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Jan Neumann  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 09:03
Member (2007)
English to German
EUR 500 too high Feb 13, 2007

Hi Kate,
EUR 500 is way too high.
I'm paying sth like 350 with a fulltime income from translation - although there is a no claims bonus in there, and I'm a member of ADÜ which gives you a discount - as will BDÜ etc.
Try contacting MG Denzer - they specialise in liability insurance for translators.
Best regards
Jan


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