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Poll: Do you have liability insurance?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 16:43
SITE STAFF
Mar 25, 2014

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Do you have liability insurance?".

This poll was originally submitted by Josef Šoltes. View the poll results »



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Tim Drayton  Identity Verified
Cyprus
Local time: 02:43
Turkish to English
+ ...
No Mar 25, 2014

I would like to, but professional liability insurance for translators just seems to be unavailable in the tiny country in which I live.

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Alexander Kondorsky  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 02:43
English to Russian
+ ...
Strange to me Mar 25, 2014

It seems strange, maybe even cruel, to me that a person who uses only his or her labor, premises and equipment, pays taxes and other mandatory levies and fees, creates a workplace and saves the government and corporations all these costs and earns not more than an average salaried employee shall be obliged to buy such things as errors & omissions insurance.

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David Wright  Identity Verified
Austria
Local time: 01:43
German to English
+ ...
@ alexander Mar 25, 2014

so who should pay up if you make a mess of a translation and the client suffers a loss as a result? The state? (in which case, we'd have even higher taxes - why should the taxpayer fund your error?) You? (can you afford it? - the potential losses are enormous). The client? (not really fair).

Not sure I agree with your "saves the government ...." element either. You could argue that any and every job saves the government money (and besides, it's not really the government, it is the community of people living in a country that ultimately pays for things - if only it was just the government!!!)

Nor is there an "obligation" - at least not in Austria.

Ultimately the decision to take out insurance is for the translator to decide on the basis of whether he/she wants to assume the risk of having to pay damages if they make a mess.

I have it, it costs me relatively little, I sleep well at night and I have never had to file a claim in 30 years of professional life (and in fact only had to use it once to back up my view that theclient was at fault!)


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David Wright  Identity Verified
Austria
Local time: 01:43
German to English
+ ...
@ Tim Mar 25, 2014

Cyprus being in the EU, you should be able to get this from any EU-based insurer.

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Tim Drayton  Identity Verified
Cyprus
Local time: 02:43
Turkish to English
+ ...
It seems not Mar 25, 2014

David Wright wrote:

Cyprus being in the EU, you should be able to get this from any EU-based insurer.


It seems not. Insurers based in one country will not insure residents of other countries, even if this is another EU country. I have inquired.


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Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 01:43
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
It comes in a package Mar 25, 2014

I used to be insured under a scheme run by the CIoL, but the insurers regretfully withdrew it, because I was/am not resident in the UK. They said the costs to them were too high, and Tim may come up against that kind of problem.

I solved mine by approaching the insurers who run a scheme for State Authorized Translators in Denmark, and had my own tailored policy (though it was closely modelled on theirs) for some years.

Since then Communication and Language Professionals Denmark have set up a very similar joint scheme for their members, which I now use.

I have never claimed on it, but for a modest annual premium it covers a LOT of damages. A technically tiny translation error could be very expensive for the client in terms of scrapped printed materials, or even worse in a legal or medical document, if it affected someone's business or health.

The other side of this policy is that it covers a whole lot of other things like fire, computer problems and loss of earning capacity due to illness.

Any employer would have a policy like that to cover employees, and if you are self-employed, well... I have cover for myself as chief cook and bottle-washer


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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 01:43
Spanish to English
+ ...
Anathema Mar 25, 2014

David Wright wrote:

... so who should pay up if you make a mess of a translation and the client suffers a loss as a result?


"Mess up a translation" ... ? Moi?

[Edited at 2014-03-25 10:32 GMT]


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Josef Šoltes  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 01:43
Member (2013)
English to Czech
Poll Mar 25, 2014

I started this poll, as I was really curious about the real state of things between translators. Personally, I am not insured, but I believe, I maybe should get one after those replies here. Thanks everyone!

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Allison Wright  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 00:43
German to English
+ ...
Not yet Mar 25, 2014

I shall be doing this really soon. It makes sense to be covered.

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Michael Harris  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 01:43
Member (2006)
German to English
Nope Mar 25, 2014

David Wright wrote:

Cyprus being in the EU, you should be able to get this from any EU-based insurer.


You cannot get it Germany either


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David Wright  Identity Verified
Austria
Local time: 01:43
German to English
+ ...
@ Michael Mar 25, 2014

You can get "betriebshaftversicherung" from many insurance companies, e.g.

http://www.axa.de/geschaeftskunden/betriebshaftpflicht

I can't see why they should exclude translators, so you could at least try them


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Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 01:43
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
You can Mar 25, 2014

Michael Harris wrote:

David Wright wrote:

Cyprus being in the EU, you should be able to get this from any EU-based insurer.


You cannot get it Germany either


Hi Michael,

you can get the Berufshaftpflichtversicherung from just about any insurance company. If you're a member of the BDÜ they have made special agreements with 2 insurance companies for their members.


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Thomas Johansson  Identity Verified
Peru
Local time: 18:43
Member (2005)
English to Swedish
+ ...
We only do as well as we can Mar 25, 2014

Our clients are responsible for reviewing the translations and making sure any translations are sufficiently reliable before they proceed to make commercial or other use of them. The only situation in which a translator could reasonably be liable for a translation would be where he/she has expressly assumed such liability. And why would a translator ever agree to do that?

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Michael Wetzel  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 01:43
German to English
Boss-Assekuranz Mar 25, 2014

Even if you're not a member of the BDÜ, Boss-Assekuranz is a great resource with solid knowledge about insuring translators. I also purchased my Vermögensschaden-Haftpflichtversicherung through them, although I am not a member of the BDÜ. (They can tell you about the difference between the two forms of insurance and the reasons why to purchase one or the other or both.)

I'm with David et al.: Of all the things that I spend a few hundred euros a year on (privately or for my business), this would be very far down the list of things that I would get rid of if money became scarce. They provide you with legal protection against spurious claims and cover damages that can easily run into the tens or hundreds of thousands of euros (depending on what kind of texts you are translating).

I would guess that prices and policies are very different from country to country, though. My insurance covers claims from anywhere in the world: From Australia, Afghanistan, and Austria to Zaire, but it does not cover claims made in the US.


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