Poll: Do you hold a professional indemnity and liability insurance?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 07:02
SITE STAFF
Sep 25, 2009

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Do you hold a professional indemnity and liability insurance?".

This poll was originally submitted by Maria Labaronnie

View the poll here

A forum topic will appear each time a new poll is run. For more information, see: http://proz.com/topic/33629


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Michael Harris  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 16:02
Member (2006)
German to English
Had been considering it Sep 25, 2009

but in Germany, you have to be a member of a certain associations.

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xxxInterlangue
Angola
Local time: 16:02
English to French
+ ...
Same question Sep 25, 2009

Have not cancelled my insurance since last time this question was asked - last year or 2 years ago.

[Modifié le 2009-09-25 08:42 GMT]


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Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 08:02
English to Spanish
+ ...
Any Cases? Sep 25, 2009

Every time I see this subject come up I always ask if anyone knows of any cases where a translator has actually been sued or become subject to any kind of professional liability.

So far not a single documented case has been mentioned. I ask again.

It would appear that liability insurance for translators is totally unnecessary. Right or wrong?


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Maria Isabel Pazos Gómez  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 16:02
Member (2007)
German to Spanish
+ ...
yes Sep 25, 2009

Michael Harris wrote:

but in Germany, you have to be a member of a certain associations.

... and NO, you don´t.

I got a private insurence through a big insurance company.


Mabel


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Lesley Clarke  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 09:02
Spanish to English
I agree with Henry Sep 25, 2009

Is this a real or imagined risk?

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Maria Labaronnie  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 12:02
English to Spanish
+ ...
I don't know... Sep 25, 2009

Henry Hinds wrote:

Every time I see this subject come up I always ask if anyone knows of any cases where a translator has actually been sued or become subject to any kind of professional liability.

So far not a single documented case has been mentioned. I ask again.

It would appear that liability insurance for translators is totally unnecessary. Right or wrong?




if it's right or wrong...
...but I was curious because, like you, I haven't heard of any translator being sued.
However, I see an increasing number of agencies (mainly from the UK) asking for this insurance as a requirement.

Regards,
María


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Tim Drayton  Identity Verified
Cyprus
Local time: 17:02
Turkish to English
+ ...
No Sep 25, 2009

I have enquired but it appears to be unavailable in Cyprus.

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Simon Bruni  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 15:02
Member (2009)
Spanish to English
Suing Sep 25, 2009

I suspect we take a lot more legal action than is taken against us, as vulnerable as we are to bad or non-payers. A quick internet search reveals little evidence of translators being sued.

Here's to not getting sued and not giving insurance companies our hard-earned lolly.

Simon


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Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 16:02
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
Mine is part of a package Sep 25, 2009

Mine is part of an insurance package that covers a lot of things that I hope will never happen to me... But it means my husband and I sleep a little better at night. (He is the IT-man and economist in the household!)

The policy will replace my computers and quite a lot of software, dictionaries etc. and cover my loss of earnings for a short period while I start up again after fire, computer breakdown, viruses, loss or damage to clients' property, theft... that sort of thing.

Flooding is a joke where our house is, halfway up a hill, but you never know.

And if I do make a technically minor mistake that costs a client a lot of money, then I am covered to pay a fair amount of compensation if I am sued.

It is not that expensive either...



[Edited at 2009-09-25 19:57 GMT]


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Ravshan
Uzbekistan
Local time: 20:02
English to Uzbek
+ ...
Not really... Sep 25, 2009

We do not have such kind of insurance in our country.

When I sign the contract for translation services I always put one provision (condition) which says that in case of any disputes (if any) I will be responsible for the amount not exceeding the contract amount. For example, if my services cost $500 (according to contract) the client would have the right to sue me for this amount only regardles of the amount of his loss.

But this will never happen! Before submitting translation to the client I always have it proofreaded by my partners.


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Setti Mulari  Identity Verified
New Zealand
Local time: 04:02
Finnish to English
Had it, ditched it. Sep 26, 2009

I have an insurance background and I am generally very pro-insurance everywhere. A few years ago I reviewed all off the shelf PI policies that were available for translators in the UK and not one of them was worth the paper they were printed on.

One particular policy made me laugh, as it was recommended by an industry association. It was a total scam, as it would only cover losses if your client was based in England or Wales. I have maybe 3 or 4 clients here, most being in Scandinavia.

I ended up going to a Lloyds syndicate (those are the people who you go to if you want to insure anything out of the ordinary - like David Beckham's left foot or J-Lo's bottom) and I practically wrote up my own policy with the terms and conditions that I found relevant. The annual premium was £500 + IPT at 5% - I think my cover level was about £250k. I had it for two years and then I came to the conclusion that the likelihood of anyone actually suing me if I make a mistake is so remote that I really cannot see it happening. At any rate, none of the agencies I work for has required me to carry insurance cover so I'm not too worried about it.

If there is one piece of advice I can give, as a former insurance underwriter, it is for you to THINK about the COVER YOU NEED for your peace of mind and READ the policy documentation carefully. Those documents are very well written and I'm always amazed when people whinge that their insurance didn't cover their losses for whatever reason - the documentation clearly defines what is covered and what is not. If people would take the time to actually read these documents, 99% of such problems would be avoided (and a lot of people would change their insurance companies on the spot).

There are a lot of options out there and it can get a bit overwhelming. Get help from an independent insurance advisor - it is usually free - and make sure you READ the documentation and clarify limitations to your cover. If your customers are all over the world, the likelihood is that a standard policy will not cover you. Insurance companies do not want to get involved in litigation in another country so they exclude that possibility in the small print so watch out.

...but like many have said, who's ever heard of a translator getting sued?


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Isabelle Berquin  Identity Verified
Local time: 10:02
Member (2007)
English to French
+ ...
Thanks Setti Sep 27, 2009

Thank you for the detailed post with your analysis of the insurance industry, I found it helpful.

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Kevin Harper  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 15:02
German to English
+ ...
Territorial Issues Oct 5, 2009

Most off-the-shelf policies, even those supposedly aimed at translators only cover (in my case) the UK. Most of them specifically exclude US and Canada as well, but without Europe it makes no sense whatsoever.

Unless you are working exclusively for UK companies and are able to set your own terms & conditions (dream on!), then it seems fairly pointless. Also, there are sometimes too many exclusions to be practical, such as no legal or medical. I don't tend to do medical translation, but that depends how they choose to define it.

In over ten years, I've only had three customers ask for it, two of which were happy to drop the requirement. Most terms & conditions talk about "indemnifying" rather than specifically holding an insurance policy.

However, if there's a policy that covers at least the EU, North America and East Asia that doesn't need your shoe size, I'm open to it.

[Edited at 2009-10-05 08:30 GMT]


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