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Haftpflichtversicherung/ liability insurance
Thread poster: Petra Freidl

Petra Freidl  Identity Verified
Austria
Local time: 18:57
Russian to German
+ ...
Dec 10, 2011

Hi,
do many of you have a liability insurance, in case that a custmomer is claiming because of a mistake in the translation.

Hallo,
haben viele von Euch eine


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Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 18:57
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
Liability insurance Dec 10, 2011

Hi Petra,

at this moment I don't have a professional liability insurance yet, but I will get one next month/year. I believe it is almost mandatory to have such an insurance because it could happen that the damage claim resulting from a translation mistake can reach 5 - 6 digit numbers in claims. You might want to check with your translator/interpreter association. They sometimes offer special deals for their members with good coverage.


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Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 10:57
English to Spanish
+ ...
Need? Dec 10, 2011

Every time this subject comes up I ask if anyone is aware of a case where a translator has been sued for professional liability. I have been doing this for years, and have yet to see any response, which would indicate that liability insurance is not needed.

Would you have something to contribute on this matter Thayenga?


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KSL Berlin  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 17:57
Member (2003)
German to English
+ ...
Liability/loss insurance definitely important Dec 10, 2011

Henry Hinds wrote:

Every time this subject comes up I ask if anyone is aware of a case where a translator has been sued for professional liability. I have been doing this for years, and have yet to see any response, which would indicate that liability insurance is not needed.


Henry, I detailed cases here several times in the past and know another more recent case I have not discussed here. So the issue is quite real. Each time it comes up, I see claims that there are never any "real" examples, which has led me to conclude that people will believe what they like and should accept any consequences accordingly.


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Petra Freidl  Identity Verified
Austria
Local time: 18:57
Russian to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
happy about any further comments! Dec 10, 2011

Thank's a lot for the answers! I'm happy about any further comments! I've seen that most part of the german version I've written has disappeard, but it seems as you've understood my english as well.
It seems to me as if half of the translators I'm talking with have an insurance and the other ones see no sense behind it! So I decided after having discussed it with a few translators that there is no need, but now I'm not sure anymore, also because of the argument of colleagues, that the general terms and conditions of translators in austria say, that the liability amount cannot be higher than the amount that was paied to the translator
Best regards
petra


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Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 10:57
English to Spanish
+ ...
KSL Dec 10, 2011

I haven't seen any of the cases you have detailed (I don't catch everything), but I would like to see something on them if you could oblige.

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KSL Berlin  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 17:57
Member (2003)
German to English
+ ...
Some case details Dec 11, 2011

Henry Hinds wrote:

I haven't seen any of the cases you have detailed (I don't catch everything), but I would like to see something on them if you could oblige.


See:

http://www.proz.com/forum/business_issues/109790-time_frame_for_customer_complaint.html#894035

http://www.proz.com/forum/business_issues/153569-translators_professional_indemnity_insurance.html#1287263

One of the cases involving an insurance payout probably would have been won in court, but it was considered cheaper and faster just to pay a four-figure settlement for a two line quote from an unattributed poem wrongly assumed to have been translated in the 19th century.

Here in Germany, it is a real concern that translations for publication may lead to reprinting costs being demanded in case of a translator's error. The issue was raised with me about two years ago, but fortunately I could document that one of the errors had been noted on a galley proof and the other was not an error, just a lack of understanding of real English by the customer. However, had the case been pursued, the insurance would have covered attorney's costs.


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KSL Berlin  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 17:57
Member (2003)
German to English
+ ...
We've been here before Dec 11, 2011

Henry, I just looked back at one of the threads I posted on two years ago and noticed that you were part of it. Check your post from December 16, 2009 and scroll down from there and you'll find more details on a case again.

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Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 10:57
English to Spanish
+ ...
Thanks Dec 11, 2011

Thanks, KSL, for the info, it is interesting. I don't think I ever revisited that 2009 thread, so I never saw that.

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David Wright  Identity Verified
Austria
Local time: 18:57
German to English
+ ...
Petra Dec 12, 2011

It's all very well saying that the standard terms and conditiions "of translators" in Austria (What standard terms?) limit liability - but do you actually make these terms part of your deal? Do you tell your new clients that your liability is limited? Do you refer them to the standard terms (And tell them where to find them)? I don't, (don't actually know what they are and I've been working in Austria as a translator for 30 years).

I know I can be sued if something goes wrong (I was nearly lumbered with reprinting costs until my lawyer (paid for by my insurer) pointed out that the number I had misread had been in a fax of a fax (goes backa long time this story!) and the 6 indeed looked like an 8 on my copy. The lawyer argued that the client had to take responsibility for errors resulting from fax transmission and won). I find the insurance cover helps me sleep easier at night.

[Edited at 2011-12-12 09:06 GMT]


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Sigrid Andersen  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:57
Member (2011)
Danish to German
+ ...
I have one Dec 27, 2011

I have an insurance yes, it covers only Europe though. I find the payment for it to be very reasonable in trade for me getting some good nights sleep knowing IF i should misread something somewhere at a point, for any mistakes will be covered. Of course i still do my job as if i wouldnt have one, making sure everything is correct, but there can happen misunderstandings, i am very aware of that.

Most Haftpflichtversicherungen in Austria only cover Europe, and most insurance companies do not tell you that this is a fact, so if you decide to go for one (paying about 10 EUR /month for mine btw) make sure u get an US/middleeast expansion if you need one.


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Petra Freidl  Identity Verified
Austria
Local time: 18:57
Russian to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you!! Dec 27, 2011

Thank you all! Sorry for the late response!
David, your response was very helpful, because that's one of the things I'd like to avoid. Normally I mark such things, but who knows...
What cover do you normally have?
Best regards
Petra


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Rolf Kern  Identity Verified
Switzerland
Local time: 18:57
English to German
+ ...
No Dec 27, 2011

I do not think we need a professional liability insurance. Translation is such a disputable thing and the source texts are normally so bad, that we can do without it.

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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 18:57
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Enforced by some of my customers... Dec 27, 2011

Actually we in our office have an insurance which covers our liability for translation mistakes for EU and US customers. After 15 years in business with no such event, it sounds a bit awkward that a customer would raise a claim for a translation mistake, but you never know when a situation could arise where an end customer claims that an alleged mistake caused damages.

We have had this insurance for some years now, and are happy to have one since this way we honour the requirements for some of our customers, who are very sensible and interesting agencies.

I would not necessarily sign for this kind of insurance unless a customer really asks for it as part of their framework agreement with you.


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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 18:57
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Quite affordable then Dec 27, 2011

Sigrid Andersen wrote:
Most Haftpflichtversicherungen in Austria only cover Europe, and most insurance companies do not tell you that this is a fact, so if you decide to go for one (paying about 10 EUR /month for mine btw) make sure u get an US/middleeast expansion if you need one.

Wow. 10 euros a month is quite a bargain I would say. In our office (for a team of 4 people), we pay some 70 euros a month, although we do have a cover for the US (which means about 1/3 of our turnover).


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