Getting started as an interpreter
Thread poster: Sunilda

Local time: 23:57
English to Spanish
+ ...
Feb 5, 2008

I just recently I signed up on Proz. I was contacted by a company called Zonecare USA, who linked up to me through Proz. I would be accompaying patients to healthcare appointments.
Their contract states that I should have something called "Errors and Omissions" insurance. I did some research and found it to be expensive. I did speak to my representative at Zonecare and she said that most interpreters don't carry it, and it's not really required.
Has anyone heard of this and have any ideas on how to manage it?
Thank-you all,


Stephen Franke
United States
Local time: 20:57
English to Arabic
+ ...
That engaging firm is responsible for such insurance coverage Feb 6, 2008


That firm which engages your professional services and dispatches you to suport those medical appointments is responsible for providing such insurance coverage, as you are acting as an agent / representative of that firm as the interpreter during those healthcare appointments.

The firm is liable, so the firm must provide those coverages, not you. Otherwise, may I suggest that you decline that firm and find engagements with firms which follow a more-solid set of business practices (and awareness of applicable insurance laws).

For additional comments by other medical / healthcare interpreters, you might also post your question in the appropriate Q&A section of the website for the California Healthcare Interpreters Association (CHIA) at < >.

Hope this helps.


Stephen H. Franke
English - Arabic, Kurdish and Persian
San Pedro, California
Member, CHIA - Los Angeles Chapter

[Edited at 2008-02-06 20:57]


Renascence (X)
United States
Korean to English
+ ...
malpractice insurance for an interpreter Feb 8, 2008

Hello Sunilda,

I believe "Errors and Omissions insurance" means "insurance for a law suit", in case an interpreter makes a serious mistake and causes harm to a client. As an interpreter, it could be a horrific nightmare.

If you work as an in-house interpreter, the company who hired you should have all the coverage for it. However if you work as an independent contractor, it is really up to you. You can make a contract stating to split the cost of a law suit or damage reimbursement with the agency as long as the assignment is through that agency.

Or, if you think it is worth the investment, and you will be a sole proprietor in the course of your career, you should have your own "malpractice insurance".

I hope this helps.
Good luck.

Jimi Law


Local time: 23:57
English to Spanish
+ ...
Thank-you Feb 8, 2008

Hi Jimi,
This really helps. Since the firm is hiring me as a private vendor, I am required to have this insurance.
I spoke to one of the supervisors and explaind the issue of cost and he is emailing me a spread sheet with the amount of work I can possibly expect per month, and he says that he believes that the cost will probably be justified.
Thank-you to as well for providing me this forum.


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