Insurance for Translators in Australia
Thread poster: Dylan Jan Hartmann

Dylan Jan Hartmann  Identity Verified
Australia
Member (2014)
Thai to English
+ ...

MODERATOR
Aug 25, 2014

I am looking into insuring myself as a translator here in Australia.

I have been given 10 different recommendations by 10 different providers and each insurance company is trying to up-sell as much as possible.

It all boils down to 2 main plans though, public liability and professional indemnity insurances.

I am skeptical about having to get public liability because working online (as most of us do), I don't have contact with clients. I also don't conduct any advertising, which is also covered by public liability.

Professional indemnity will cover any potential mistakes in translation that I happen to be sued for. I don't know of the history of suing translators in Australia but this has been advised as being essential in the current business climate.

Other industries have industry insurance providers, which significantly lower the premiums required from the end client.

The final concern is that I do not currently have any Australian clients! So, would the insurance cover even be necessary?

I was wondering if anyone else is covered? What was your experience and what can you recommend?

Thanks!

Dylan


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Daria Bontch-Osmolovskaia
Australia
Local time: 09:54
English
+ ...
insurance Aug 25, 2014

Hi Dylan,

I carry PI insurance for my direct clients - got it through BizCover (http://www.bizcover.com.au/). My annual premium is about $800 and it covers me for up to one million, only within Australia. I don't carry PL insurance, and my terms and conditions state that, as a translator, I am released from public liability.

Getting insurance that will cover you for multiple countries is complicated and expensive. Some countries, for instance Germany, have their own specific rulings on insurance, and many companies that will cover you for EU won't include Germany.

I've been in translation industry for 8+ years and have never heard of anyone getting sued. Colleagues who have been in the industry even for 20+ years confirm this as well. Personally, I got PI insurance because a lot of my work comes from direct clients and big companies, on consulting basis, and in my industry segment it's expected that consultants carry their own insurance. It does make me feel more secure, though. It's an investment I hope I will never need to cash in, if you know what I meanicon_wink.gif

I believe that if you are a member of AUSIT, there is an insurance company that will give you discounts, but I can't advise you on that.

Since you say you don't have any Australian clients yet, it may be better to wait before committing to a fairly expensive premium. Generally, agencies will not require you to carry PI insurance, although it varies.

Good luck!


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DIV1
Australia
Local time: 09:54
German to English
+ ...
A few thoughts Feb 12, 2017

Hello, Dylan and Daria.

I can tell you that AUSIT has had a deal with Aon Risk Services Australia. Not certain who their current deal is with.

I recently (last week) spoke with a broker in Australia who gave the following indicative ranges:
For an 'ordinary' translator working on 'low risk' jobs: annual premium ~ $500 to $700.
For a translator working in 'high risk' fields (e.g. "aerospace" or "medical"): premium likely over $1000, and may even be over $2000 per annum.
This is for $1 million of cover (which seems to be the minimum option under standard policy plans).

Daria, you stated: "my terms and conditions state that, as a translator, I am released from public liability". Did you get legal advice on that? Do you think it will stand up in court? If so, then don't you think it would be cheaper to include an additional clause such as: "my terms and conditions state that, as a translator, I am immune from prosecution for professional malpractice or error"?!

Actually, I agree with Dylan's reasons for omitting public liability cover under the circumstances he described.

Who has this cover? Many practitioners presumably have such cover.
VITS states that they can require such cover to be held by their contractors for specific assignments (but not generally mandated).


There are several details to be worked through in taking out PI insurance.

What cover?
Ideally this should be judged taking into account the typical costs incurred in actual legal actions (i.e. precedents) [with adjustments for the practitioner's particular circumstances]. This is certainly not information that I have at my fingertips. If precedents are rare or non-existent, it lowers the risk (and should lower the premium), but doesn't help much with knowing the amount to insure against. (IMHO)

What 'excess'?
If precedents are rare or non-existent, then the translator should feel more comfortable to take on a higher excess ('self-insurance'), and thereby reduce their premium. (IMHO)

International clients?
Yes, foreign countries will likely have different laws and legal systems from those of Australia. But do you think legal action would be launched against an Australian practitioner through an overseas court? Do you suppose the practitioner would be extradited?! I am by no means an expert in this area, but it seems to me that if someone wanted to go to the trouble of taking legal action against an Australian practitioner, then they'd most likely do so through the Australian system. Prima facie, having international clients seems to me to actually diminish the risk of (effective/successful) legal action being taken.
Although insurers (and others) may view this differently ... e.g. perhaps they associate this with 'greater unknown', and hence greater risk. ...Or they may rank countries by 'litigiousness'!

—DIV


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Dylan Jan Hartmann  Identity Verified
Australia
Member (2014)
Thai to English
+ ...

MODERATOR
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks Feb 12, 2017

Thank you for your insight.

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DIV1
Australia
Local time: 09:54
German to English
+ ...
Official links Feb 23, 2017

As a follow-up, here are two links that might be of use.

"Need a Broker" allows searching for insurance brokers that are members of NIBA (National Insurance Brokers Association)
http://www.needabroker.com.au/html/

"Find an Insurer" allows searching for insurers and insurance brokers in various categories, a service provided by the ICA (Insurance Council of Australia)
http://www.findaninsurer.com.au/category/24

—DIV


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