Indemnity Insurance.
Thread poster: Zoe Adams Green

Zoe Adams Green  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:35
Spanish to English
+ ...
Oct 6, 2006

I am based in Spain and am looking for Indemnity Insurance. Can anyone recommend a company I can approach?


Mats Wiman  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:35
Member (2000)
German to Swedish
+ ...

No need in my opinion Oct 6, 2006

Please go to the search function in the left column, enter 'indemnity' tick 'Forums' and click 'go' and you will find a lot of information and many an opinion about this subject.

My view:

A translator only answers with maximum the whole amount of his/her translation fee.


Derek Gill Franßen  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:35
German to English
+ ...
There is no special liability for translators (that I am aware of). Oct 6, 2006

Mats Wiman wrote:

A translator only answers with maximum the whole amount of his/her translation fee. [/quote]

With all due respect, Mats, I beg to disagree. That certainly would be nice. But imagine how it would be if I sold a product for $1, and it accidently caused someone's death: Do you really think that my liability for the damages would be limited to $1? What would happen if I damaged someone else (or their property) for FREE?icon_wink.gif

No, no, no... I would be liable with my entire worth for any damage I cause—regardless of how high the damages are. I obviously can't pay more than I have, but that doesn't change what I owe. Most laws are very straight-forward in this regard: You are liable for all of the damage you cause.

One could, perhaps, try to limit the liability by negotiating with your contractual partner, but I really doubt that most do. Even including such a limitation in your terms and conditions would usually not be sufficient, because most legal systems declare such clauses to be invalid.

I—for one—have indemnity insurance in case my translation is somehow causal for damages others incur. Such situations can happen.

My two cents...icon_smile.gif

[Edited at 2006-10-06 14:21]


Spencer Allman
United Kingdom
Local time: 08:35
Finnish to English
I agree with Mats Oct 6, 2006

Like many types of insurance, indemnity insurance is not worth the bother - or the money. If you make a mistake in a translation going to an end client via an agency, I believe the agency is liable if the client sues, as the agency is normally responsible for ensuring that a translation is revised properly.

In the case of direct clients, if you kill someone then it is time to pack it all in and drive a taxi.

In sixteen years of translation I have never heard of any case where a translator made a claim.


Zoe Adams Green  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:35
Spanish to English
+ ...
Thanks for the replies and opinions Oct 6, 2006

The problem is that a new client is insisting that I get indemnity insurance - if I do not get it, they will not work with me.

I have attempted to get insurance through the IoL's supplier, but they told me that they don't cover people living in Spain.


Andrea Kowalenko  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:35
Member (2006)
Spanish to German
+ ...
Indemnity insurance in Spain Oct 6, 2006

I recently got indemnity insurance in Spain and asked at various companies. I'm not sure if it is allowed to mention companies by the name, but if you drop me a message privately, I can give you some names.

I asked for various offers. In general, indemnity insurance for a translator in Spain seems to be limited to a maximum of 300.000,- €. This is the maximum sum the insurance company pays per case, and also per year. There normally is an excess sum you have to pay yourself before the insurance applies. The excess sum lies in between 300,- and 1.500,- €, depending on the case. Also, there are some companies which only cover on an European level. The prices are almost all around 265,- € per year for a cover sum of 300.000,- €.

This type of insurance usually has a big number of exclusions, you really get to ask yourself if they really cover you at all.... And never mind, if you really cause damage, especially if it is corporal damage, the insurance sum probably would not be enough. The advantage is that your defence will be carried out and / or covered by the insurance company, e. g. you don't have to pay for a lawyer yourself. And they should be interested in defending you properly, I assume....

I'm not sure about your professional titles, but in case you do not have any "official" title for translation, you should read the conditions very carefully. I almost signed a contract which excluded cover in case of working without an official title. After a bit of struggling, I could achieve to include an observation in my contract, stating that a title is not compulsory as in Spain it is not necessary to have a title in order to work as a translator (no "colegio", as for lawyers, physicians, etc.).

Hope this helps, if you need further information, just ask.
Kind regards,

P.D.: I'm still not sure about the utility of this type of insurance, but it allows me to sleep better each night, and anyway, it is tax deductible...


Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 01:35
English to Spanish
+ ...
No Claims Oct 6, 2006

Someone else has also mentioned that no instance has yet been documented of a translator ever being being subject to any claim or liability. I have not seen any mentioned here to date.

You might get back to your client and discuss the matter. It would appear to be an unreaonable requirement and thus you may not wish to do business with that client.


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