Strange clause in a SLA - Duties of the supplier
Thread poster: Serena Basili

Serena Basili  Identity Verified
Belgium
Local time: 03:55
English to Italian
+ ...
Oct 23, 2015

Hello,
I was reading the SLA a translation company sent me and I noticed one clause referring to the duty of the Supplier to have a Commercial General Liability Insurance, pointing out that the Company has the right to request documents confirming that the Supplier has this Insurance.

I never had such clause in the agreements I have with other companies....what should I do?


 

Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 02:55
Member (2008)
Italian to English
What should you do? Oct 23, 2015

Serena Basili wrote:

Hello,
I was reading the SLA a translation company sent me and I noticed one clause referring to the duty of the Supplier to have a Commercial General Liability Insurance, pointing out that the Company has the right to request documents confirming that the Supplier has this Insurance.

I never had such clause in the agreements I have with other companies....what should I do?


What should you do?

Terminate this whole process and do something else

icon_smile.gif


 

Charlie Bavington  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:55
French to English
In before.... Oct 23, 2015

.... the usual suspects saying they ain't never heard of anyone incurring liability, we're all to poor to sue, and all that rubbish. See
http://www.proz.com/forum/translation_in_the_uk/253210-uk_based_translators_risk_of_being_sued_and_company_type_sole_trader_vs_limited_liability.html#2172023

Meanwhile, it seems to me you can:
a) drop the lead, not sign the SLA, and move on
b) lie about it and sign anyway
c) tell them you're not insured and check how strictly they enforce the provision - you might be lucky, they might remove it for you
d) take out insurance pronto and sign the SLA afterwards.

I assume you must be looking for people's experience of option c). I've got insurance, though, so I can't help there. That said, assuming you're not willing to do d) or b), I'd probably do a), as Tom suggests.


 

Jean Lachaud  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 21:55
English to French
+ ...
That is an often-recurrign thread Oct 23, 2015

Searching the forums will reveal all one needs to know (and, unfortunately, much more) about liability insurance for translators and clauses which require them.

 

Serena Basili  Identity Verified
Belgium
Local time: 03:55
English to Italian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
. Oct 26, 2015

Thank you all for the feedback!
Yeah Charlie, I would go for option c). I have promptly sent an e-mail to the company asking if they require the insurance in any case, but they haven't replied, yet.

Obviously, if I receive no answer about that I won't sign the SLAicon_smile.gif

Have a nice day!!


 

Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 03:55
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
I have insurance, but it does not cover work for clients outside Europe Oct 26, 2015

I tell non-european clients that I am not insured straight away when they enquire about jobs.

Some say OK, never mind, and a few back off.

In many cases I turn down the job for other reasons, e.g. too technical, or they really need an American for US English, or I haven't got time, and so on. If the client is happy and the job is small and low-risk, then I will probably take it on.

I have never made any claims on my insurance, but I know I am not infallible, and technically tiny errors can prove very expensive, even disastrous, if not caught in time.


 

Serena Basili  Identity Verified
Belgium
Local time: 03:55
English to Italian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Their reply Oct 26, 2015

They told me that they usually do not ask freelancers to have insurance as it is not mandatory in many countries (so I got that they're fine with me not having one?), though they said the SLA is universal and they needed me to sign it.

I did so, so just keep your fingers crossed for me never to need an insurance coverageicon_biggrin.gif

@Christine: that's the point: I know I am not infallible and that I may make mistakes, that was why I was (and maybe still am) a bit concerned. Anyway I think that if a client sues a translator, he/she must have made MAJOR mistakes e.g. completely changing the meaning; I hope they wouldn't sue someone for typosicon_smile.gif


 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 03:55
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
IANAL, but... Oct 26, 2015

Serena Basili wrote:
I noticed one clause referring to the duty of the Supplier to have a Commercial General Liability Insurance...


IANAL, but if I understand correctly, "Commercial General Liability Insurance" (as opposed to professional liability insurance) relates to accidents that other people suffer at your workplace, e.g. if you outsource the translation and the outsourcee comes to your house and gets a paper cut, or if a client comes to your house and slips on the carpet. If you work from home and no-one ever visits your "place of work", then I don't think you need this type of insurance.

Do not lie in the agreement with the contract. Rather, cross out the section about the insurance, and tell the client that you can't accept that clause. If the client can't accept that, then drop the client. The whole point of the agreement is to formalise the honesty between the two parties.


 

Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 03:55
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
Not teh-typos, but decimals in the wrong place and 'tiny' errors like that... Oct 26, 2015

Technically tiny typos can easily be missed by proofreaders if the text is grammatically correct and logical. Doses of medication, decimals where someone has forgotten to change the decimal comma to the English decimal point or vice versa may have serious consequences all the same. It happens.

Some years ago I was sent some Norwegian to check over, after two experienced colleagues had translated and checked it. I did not spot the error either - it was tricky, because there are two varieties of Norwegian, and they were mixed in the source. I don't remember the exact formulation, and in many cases it would not be a big problem.

The text was the user manual for a garden machine, and all three of us had understood a particular sentence as positive. The client - an engineer who understood the machine as well as the language - insisted it was negative. He finally rewrote the source when the agency pointed out that the Norwegian PM, herself a qualified translator, and three English linguists had misunderstood it...

If only one linguist had been involved, the client might have been able to blame the translator.

It was quite a serious safety issue, and although we could have claimed the source text was not clear, it would have been very unpleasant for everyone if there had been an accident. We were just fortunate that the client was awake and read the translation before putting hundreds of copies on the market.

Sometimes clients are not able to understand the translation...

That is why I have insurance!


 


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