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Professional indemnity insurance
Thread poster: Claire Cox

Claire Cox
United Kingdom
Local time: 05:53
French to English
+ ...
Jun 24, 2008

Hello,

I've recently been offered a contract with a new client which requires me to take out professional indemnity insurance. Whilst I've not had or needed to have this in the 25 years I've been translating, I am quite keen to accept this contract, so am researching PII. I'm not an ITI member so the quotes I'm getting seem phenomenal. Has anyone any recommendations or suggestions for other places I could try?

Many thanks


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xxxBrandis
Local time: 06:53
English to German
+ ...
Noup translator translates and does not need ... Jun 24, 2008

Hi! professional indemnity or insurance coverage of any sort. The british seem to be specializing on this subject. Companies / Agencies may need such an insurance. Brandis

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xxxJPW  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:53
Spanish to English
+ ...
Try here (for a start) Jun 24, 2008

https://secure.professionalinsuranceagents.co.uk/index.php

Based in East Sussex, FSA regulated; the quotes they gave me weren't toooo bad.

Bear in mind tho' - they are brokers - you could also try the companies they use directly.

Also, the ITI should be able to at least advise you, even though you're not a member (or are they so pernickity?)



P.S. you didn't define 'phenomenal'....


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Ivana Friis Wilson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 05:53
Member (2008)
English to Danish
+ ...
ITI will advise you even if you are not a member. Jun 24, 2008

- I have asked them for insurance advice (I did say that I was planning to become a member), they did for me.

They recommended McParland Finn Ltd ('our broker', she said).


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Paul Lambert  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 06:53
Member (2006)
Swedish to English
+ ...
Local Trade Association should help. Jun 24, 2008

Of course the ITI or ATA should be able to help you in this regard. I got mine through the SFÖ (Swedish) association even though I am not a member.

I really do suggest getting this insurance. It is not only agencies who need it. Even if you do nothing wrong, translators have been made scapegoats and the legal proceedings alone can cost a fortune. Get insurance as soon as you can afford it is my advice.

As to price, my policy cost about 150 pounds per year. I think that is a good deal.

[Edited at 2008-06-24 19:22]


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Madeleine MacRae Klintebo  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 05:53
Swedish to English
+ ...
I've no knowledge of German tax/company legislation Jun 24, 2008

Brandis wrote:
Companies / Agencies may need such an insurance.

But I assume you are a company - from a legal/tax view - whether you want to or not.

All countries I do know about, require anyone working on a freelance basis to be register as a sole trader or something similar. This means that you are in effect a company (albeit a small, private one). There are numerous differences between a sole trader and for example an Ltd. The most obvious one is that you are personally responsible for all of the company's debts.

So end client X successfully sues your "company" for £XXXXXXXX - whoops there goes the car, the house, all savings and more...

I admit this isn't very usual. If the end client has used an agency, they'll probably start there (their contract was with them). But then the agency in their turn can sue you/your company (and probably will, unless they've already folded).

Public liability insurance can be a pain in the neck. I once had to get a temporary one for organising my son's birthday party in a council owned building. In case a child stumbled, fell on their head and got brain damaged.... Also not very likely, but potentially very expensive.


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Claire Cox
United Kingdom
Local time: 05:53
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks to you all for the advice Jun 24, 2008

The ITI-recommended brokers had quoted in the region of £400 without ITI membership (my idea of phenomenal!), although this would apparently fall to £150 if I become an associate member of ITI and nearer £100 as a full member! I suppose after 25 years, it looks as though I may just have to do that. In these days of litigation it probably is a good idea to have PII, as Paul says.

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xxxJPW  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:53
Spanish to English
+ ...
as always, read the small print... Jun 24, 2008

Whoever you decide to go with, and whatever cover you finally settle on, make sure you read the small print (most people don't, it is trite to say) - you might find an unpleasant surprise if you don't, as with a lot of insurance policies...there may be a catch.

Personally, £150 seems quite low to me, member or not. A £400+ policy would be better cover I think. But again it depends on what the policy contains.

For example, there may be a £200 excess on any claim; only one claim allowed per year (would you want any more than this amyway?); AND most importantly, some jurisdictions might be excluded (e.g. U.S. and Canada).

And lastly, it should be tax-deductable anyway, as it's a business expense. I'm surprised the ITI didn't point that one out.


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Heike Behl, Ph.D.  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 21:53
Member (2003)
English to German
+ ...
coverage Jun 24, 2008

Check the covered countries.

A while ago, I inquired with the ATA partner company for the same reason: An agency in Germany required indemnity insurance. I was told that I would have to take out one policy for each country I do business with. In other words, the indemnity insurance for Germany would not cover me in the US.

I passed on the contract with the German agency.

I would also check whether the client has his/her own liability insurance or is just using the translators' insurance to cover their own butts.


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Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 22:53
English to Spanish
+ ...
No Need Jun 25, 2008

Every time I have seen this subject of professional liability insurance come up, I have made a comment that I have yet to see any documented instance of a translator ever being sued for professional liability.

I ask again: Does anyone know of such an instance?


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The Misha
Local time: 00:53
Russian to English
+ ...
I am with Henry on this one Jun 25, 2008

You went without it for 25 years, and you obviously survived. What makes you think you need it now? It's a total waste.

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Tatty  Identity Verified
Local time: 06:53
Spanish to English
+ ...
You never know... Jun 25, 2008

Just because it hasn't happened (or allegedly so) in the past, it doesn't mean that things don't change. I have a policy all set up, I just actually have to pay the premium, which I might do soon, after the holidays, course then there is Christmas...

A freelancer, even a VAT-registered one isn't a company, it is merely a tax-paying arrangement. Up until a couple of years ago in Spain, a freelancer was a company but that has changed now, and I believe it is the same throughout the EU now, but I'm not sure on that point.

The ITI must have very strong negotiating skills to get the premium down by that much, it does seem a little odd.


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Paul Lambert  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 06:53
Member (2006)
Swedish to English
+ ...
25 years without Jun 25, 2008

I have lived on my own for 15 years and I have never had a fire. Should I cancel my fire insurance?

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xxxJPW  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:53
Spanish to English
+ ...
can do without? Jun 25, 2008

I've never had a driving accident, should I cancel my car insurance?

OK, bad example, as this is obligatory insurance even though there are eejits out there who drive with no tax and no insurance (ironically the ones who usually do need the most cover...).

But the forum poster did state that the contract she was keen on signing insisted on a PII policy being taken out. Some of the responses show that people haven't read this correctly:

I am with Henry on this one

You went without it for 25 years, and you obviously survived. What makes you think you need it now? It's a total waste.
[My bold.]

If you don't think you need it, then that's fine. You are the best judge of your own affairs.

All I wanted to do was draw attention to the fact that PII can be as tricky to negotiate as any other policy, in other words, by all means go for the *best* (=right) price; but make sure it covers your needs adequately.

A ten grand car and a forty grand car give different levels of driving experience. A cheap policy and a higher-priced one likewise will give different levels of cover. In other words, the latter might, the former might not at all.

The irony with any kind of policy is that unfortunately you all too often only find out what it's really worth when you need to invoke it; only then do you find out that it's not worth the paper it has been printed on, much less the money you've actually forked out for it.

And to do all of that you need to read the small print, becuase that's where all the exclusion clauses love to reside...

If you think you might need insurance cover, at least do your homewok on it.

[Edited at 2008-06-25 09:21]


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Sonja Allen  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 05:53
Member (2005)
English to German
+ ...
Another broker Jun 25, 2008

would be the one IOL uses. It is Shephards (www.shephardherriot.co.uk). The contact person there is Andrew Elliot. I doubt they will give you a cheaper quote than the ITI one, as mine as an IOL member is already quite substantial, but at least you could try and compare.

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