Liability insurance for freelance translators
Thread poster: Ivana Kahle

Ivana Kahle  Identity Verified
Croatia
Local time: 08:53
Member (2007)
German to Croatian
+ ...
Nov 28, 2008

Dear all,

has it happened to you that an agency wants you to sign a contract making you responsible for all the damage caused to a client arising from a bad translation? In my opinion a slight mistake can happen even to a very good translator. Who decides how bad the mistake is and what is the actual damage?
Is there any kind of insurance policy for "malpractice in translation", such as for malpractice in medicine?

Any suggestions/comments are highly appreciated!


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Tina Vonhof  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 00:53
Member (2006)
Dutch to English
+ ...
Agency's responsibility Nov 28, 2008

It is the agency's responsibility to check your translation and pick up on major errors. There is liability insurance available for translators but it should only be necessary if you do certified translations.

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Jerzy Czopik  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 08:53
Member (2003)
Polish to German
+ ...
What do you have this from`? Nov 28, 2008

Tina Vonhof wrote:

It is the agency's responsibility to check your translation and pick up on major errors. There is liability insurance available for translators but it should only be necessary if you do certified translations.


Is this maybe some law in your country?
AFAIK such statement does not apply to German agencies.
And TBH I would wonder if this would apply to any agency.
They order a translation and pay for it. You deliver, so who's responsible for that?


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lafrentz
English to Catalan
+ ...
But... Nov 28, 2008

There are insurance policies for agencies too, not only for translators.

IMHO, translators should be totally liable when they work for direct clients. But when they work for agencies, translators are getting a lower rate, sometimes as much as 50% lower. The agency is taking a significant part of the cake, so why should they not be liable for the end product at all?

Just wondering.


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Astrid Elke Witte  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 08:53
Member (2002)
German to English
+ ...
Such a rule is likely to be unenforceable and therefore invalid Nov 28, 2008

Dear Ivana,

In my opinion, the presentation of such a contract to you by an agency is no occasion to go spending money on liability insurance. It is unlikely that any attempt on the part of the agency to make you responsible for a third party, with whom you have no contact, is enforceable anyway.

The best course of action is to read any contract which an agency sends you carefully, and delete any nonsense. You can then sign anything that is left which you find reasonable. If the agency has any objections to that, then maybe it is a good idea not to work for that particular agency.

Astrid


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Renée van Bijsterveld  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 08:53
Member (2007)
English to Dutch
+ ...
and the agency is responsible to the end client Nov 28, 2008

Jerzy Czopik wrote:

Is this maybe some law in your country?
AFAIK such statement does not apply to German agencies.
And TBH I would wonder if this would apply to any agency.
They order a translation and pay for it. You deliver, so who's responsible for that?


So the agency is responsible for the product they 'bought' from the translator to the end client.

[Edited at 2008-11-28 20:35 GMT]


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RNAtranslator  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:53
English to Spanish
+ ...
You are liable by *your* client Nov 28, 2008

Jerzy Czopik wrote:

Tina Vonhof wrote:

It is the agency's responsibility to check your translation and pick up on major errors. There is liability insurance available for translators but it should only be necessary if you do certified translations.


Is this maybe some law in your country?
AFAIK such statement does not apply to German agencies.
And TBH I would wonder if this would apply to any agency.
They order a translation and pay for it. You deliver, so who's responsible for that?


Exactly; you deliver, you the responsible. But it is only your client who can sue you, in this case, the agency, never the end client. You have an agreement with and deliver the translation to the agency. The end client can sue the agency and then, the agency could sue the translator.

Ivana, It would be stupid to sign that document. Would the end client pay you in case the agency doesn't???.

One more thing: who would be so stupid to sue a poor translator? but if the client knows that you have an insurance policy he may decide to do so.


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Ivana Kahle  Identity Verified
Croatia
Local time: 08:53
Member (2007)
German to Croatian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks! Nov 28, 2008

Thank you all, especially Astrid and lafrentz.
I haven't signed anything yet, did some corrections to the contract and am waiting for the agency's response. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.


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