Understanding computer contractors insurance

July 1, 2009 · Filed Under Computer Contractors Insurance · Comment 

The right skills are just as important as the right attitude in many businesses, and if the employees of a certain firm can’t complete specific tasks such as information technology development, a firm may decide to hire outside professionals like computer contractors. Coming into a company to provide specialist help carries with it a certain amount of responsibility, and this is why some IT professionals carry computer contractors insurance as a safety net for their business.

Cover like this normally includes professional indemnity insurance, which is often shortened to PII. It guards against the legal costs which can be run up if you are accused of having made a mistake or face a claim you been negligent in the work you have completed for a client. Some businesses are required to have PII cover as per law, although many are not.

In the past cover which included professional indemnity insurance was associated with solicitors and accountants, but in recent years consultants of all shapes and sizes have opted to take out cover to be on the safe side – this is partly because people are more aware of their legal entitlements these days and may be more minded to seek legal advice if they feel they have been wronged.

Professional indemnity insurance involves a regular premium as with many types of cover, and normally pays out in the event that you or your business, if this applies, are accused of making a mistake, error, or act of negligence in your day to day work as a computer professional. Other circumstances which may result in a payout include if you are accused of losing or destroying important data or documents belonging to a client in the course of your work.

Computer contractors insurance with an indemnity element can be extremely effective financially because after a successful claim it pays for all legal bills associated with defending a formal case against you or your business, up to a certain top limit, which is made clear in the policy when it is taken out.

In the long run a computer contractors insurance deal could save a business from going under in the event it faces an unlikely but potentially damaging legal case which could drag on for months and run up considerable fees – it even pays for the cost of any compensation awarded against you.

Different elements of a computer contractors insurance policy

June 18, 2009 · Filed Under Computer Contractors Insurance · Comment 

A reliable IT system is now at the core of many successful businesses, not just because of efficiency but because many companies now rely on the internet to market their services and provide products to clients. A lot of companies do not have the in-house expertise to run or set up some systems effectively, and so may call on computer contractors. Outside experts can provide valuable advice and can also solve some critical problems which would otherwise see a company fall behind or lose a lot of data which would harm their profits. While the majority of assignments are carried off successfully, the nature of the job can sometimes mean that things go wrong and this can sometimes see the blame land on the shoulders of a computer contractor. This is why computer contractors insurance is taken out by some professionals operating in the sector as a form of safety net.

Professional cover like this is often associated with architects and graphic designers, who have been relying on forms of indemnity insurance for many years. But the changing economy and the way in which many firms can turn to outside experts for a wider variety of jobs mean that professional protection can be useful to other professionals, including IT contractors.

A professional insurance policy like this will typically include professional indemnity insurance and at least the option of public liability cover. Both of these things could be worth considering as public liability insurance can payout in the event you face something like a personal injury claim from a third party following an incident on your own premises or in the public domain. Indemnity cover can also be useful as it can help with legal bills in the event a computer contractor is accused of making a costly error, mistake, omission, or even committing an act of negligence in their job.

An mistake like a wiped hard drive or crashed network can cost a client millions of pounds in certain circumstances, and they may be minded to seek compensation if they feel it is appropriate. This can often mean hiring a legal defence to fight the case, and should you be unsuccessful you may be required to pay compensation.

In many circumstances like this indemnity cover would pay your legal bills and even the cost of compensation awarded against you, subject to certain limits. Available for a straightforward policy, it can also guard against allegations you have lost or damaged an important data drive or documents belonging to a client, and it can also protect against unintentional breach of copyright or confidence.

Computer contractors insurance can also include a ‘run off’ element as legal claims can sometimes arrive even after a freelance or firm has stopped trading. This provides a degree of protection for an extra period when a policyholder is changing insurers, retiring or winding down the firm.

What you can expect from computer contractors insurance

May 18, 2009 · Filed Under Computer Contractors Insurance · Comment 

When it comes to information technology some companies are further ahead of the game than others. Some may be years behind in terms of their infrastructure and marketing tactics, meaning they may choose to seek outside help as a way of catching up. This means computer contractors can provide a valuable service to firms looking to simply upgrade their systems and improve company efficiency, or perhaps wanting to upgrade websites. Whatever someone’s speciality, a computer contractor typically carries a large amount of responsibility and mistakes may be costly. But computer contractors insurance is available which may one day save a business thousands of pounds.

Besides typically protecting equipment and theft, businesses which provide advice on a professional basis may also look to shield themselves from legal risks. This is because anyone who provides professional advice is at risk of legal action should their advice later prove to be harmful to a company. For example, a computer contractor might be hired to improve the visibility of a company’s website, improving its rankings with search engines.

If the contractor overhauled the website but made a mistake its programming, or simply its design, the performance could actually be adversely affected. Of course, many clients will simply ask for their money back and ask that you correct what you have done wrong, but sometimes disputes can end in legal action, and a claim for compensation.

Computer contractors insurance with an indemnity element would pay for the cost of your legal defence, and even any compensation which may be awarded against you. It also guards against allegations you have breached confidence or copyright during your normal course of work or that you have lost or damaged important data belonging to a client – easily done when you are working with hard drives and networks.

If the computer contractor firm has a number of employees, insurance with an indemnity element will also pay out for legal defence needed if one of them is accused of acting dishonestly and perhaps defrauding or stealing from a client.

Computer contractors insurance policies may also include public liability insurance and additional indemnity extras, protecting against claims which arrive in future but which date back to something which happened before a policy even started, known as retroactive cover. You will need to specify a policy limit, as these products do not pay out indefinitely, but cover will be provided within the limit right the way through the courts system, all the way up to the High Court if this ever became necessary. Note also that it does not matter how valid a claim is – you will get protection from a policy even if the claim is invalid as it will still have to be properly defended.

Why computer contractors insurance is about more than damaged laptops

April 18, 2009 · Filed Under Computer Contractors Insurance · Comment 

With the pace of change in the technology industry seemingly never ending, many businesses turn to outside help when it comes to computer systems or internet marketing. Computer contractors are therefore becoming increasingly valuable outside assets to some businesses. Their expert knowledge can help drive a firm forward and even help those who have fallen behind catch up quickly. Whether you are installing network systems or advising on web strategy, a computer contractor can often take on a lot of responsibility. This is why computer contractors insurance can be useful, particularly if it includes indemnity insurance in the event that you ever face a claim that you have made a mistake.

Be it protection for your premises or employees, it is important that you think about whether or not your business needs a safety net which would kick in in the event of legal action. This might sound unlikely, but a simple slip up can lead to a client losing money, particularly if data is accidentally erased or a network installation goes wrong. In some circumstances companies might lose thousands of pounds in a few seconds, and may seek legal means to recover what they have lost.

Computer contractors insurance with an indemnity element is therefore something to seriously consider. Although most people might not fully understand it, indemnity insurance is actually quite straightforward. The basic principle involves an insurance company paying your legal bills for you in the event that you face an allegation you have made a mistake which has cost a client money. This is known as a financial injury, and may lead to a compensation claim.

Conditions will vary but generally you can expect to be protected if you’re accused of making a mistake or omission. It also applies to allegations of acts of negligence, and it will not normally matter how valid the claim is or if the client is essentially making a claim due to sour grapes. Your cover will still apply as even invalid claims have to be defended.

How much you pay for your premium will often depend on the size of your business. It is up to you to decide what kind of computer contractors insurance you think your firm needs. There are different levels and limits on policies, and you may want to look at the size of your clients and how much money is often at stake on a typical job. This form of insurance often includes protection for a wide range of legal eventualities too. These typically include claims that you have lost a client’s data. Breaches of copyright and confidence are also often covered, and you can typically also expect to get payouts if you or an employee of yours is accused of acting dishonestly on a job, and say, defrauding a client.

Getting effective computer contractors insurance

March 18, 2009 · Filed Under Computer Contractors Insurance · Comment 

With IT now at the centre of many businesses, many companies find they are struggling to keep up with the pace of change and technological development. Even when they do know what they’re after, they may not have the resources to implement it, and so turn to computer contractors. From installing new networks to recommending new equipment, these new firms have important jobs to do not just for their clients but for the wider good of the economy. But it is important information technology firms are aware of their responsibilities and protected against any problems which may befall them in future. Computer contractors insurance is a way of making sure a company is protected if it ever faces a legal claim.

Professional insurance with an indemnity element will pay out money towards the cost of a legal defence if a consultancy was ever accused of making a mistake. For example, a computer company might be hired by a firm to install a virus network or firewall. If the recommended software fails or was installed incorrectly, the company may lose money and then seek to recover its costs through legal action.

Although many disputes can be resolved amicably, some end with lawyers’ letters going backwards and forwards and eventually a court case. You may even be ordered to pay compensation in certain circumstances. Insurance policies which contain indemnity cover would take away some of the headaches associated with these unwanted scrapes. Although they do not pay out indefinitely, they cover all your legal expenses and even payout compensation which may be awarded at the end of a case.

Depending on what is involved, cases can go on for months or years and can involve fees stretching into hundreds of thousands of pounds in some circumstances. Few businesses have vast resources which they can splash on lawyers and court appearances. An insurance policy is therefore an effective way of protecting your business if this were ever to happen to your computer consultancy firm.

The typical computer contractors insurance policy may also protect against things like unintentional breach of copyright and confidence, unintentional defamation, and even the loss of a client’s important data, IE simply dropping and smashing a hard drive belonging to one of your customers. You need to decide what level is appropriate for a company as a policy will not pay out forever and they will be a ceiling that needs to be agreed.

Note the dishonesty of any employees, should one of them happen to try and steal from a client or be accused of it, will even be protected. Computer contractors insurance can also even include public liability insurance as a useful optional extra. You can even often negotiate extras on to a policy which ensure you are protected against retrospective claims provided you have no knowledge of them, and future claims which occur when you’re transferring between insurers or winding down a business.

What computer contractors insurance can do for you business

February 18, 2009 · Filed Under Computer Contractors Insurance · Comment 

Businesses now rely on computing not just for administration and efficiency purposes, they now need an effective IT system and strategy for marketing purposes. Some of them will call on computer contractors to either run their systems, carry out upgrades, or provide online advice. This means companies are required to take action based on the knowledge and expertise of external firms. Computer contractors insurance is therefore something to consider for any business operating in the field, and those who feel they would struggle in the face of any legal action which results from their conduct.

Of course, it makes no sense to assume that your business will make a mistake, but sometimes you can be faced with a legal challenge even when you have done nothing wrong. If you ever did make an error, which then proved to be costly, a client could seek to recover their costs through the courts. This may involve massive legal fees, which you would ordinarily have to pay for yourself. But computer contractors insurance with a professional indemnity element would pick up the bill for you.

This might sound too good to be true, but a basic premium can provide protection for almost any typical legal eventuality. Your cover will have certain limits attached to it, meaning a firm will not pay out on legal expenses indefinitely, but a few sensible judgements can ensure that you’re not under insured.

Professional indemnity insurance normally kicks in should you be accused of making an omission, error, or committing an act of negligence. It also normally protect you if you’re accused of damaging or losing a client’s important data or documents.

A good thing about this insurance is that it will also normally pay out any compensation which happens to be awarded to a successful applicant. This can be quite considerable as a firm may need to hire someone else to fix errors you may have caused, leading to extra expense on top of any profits they have lost. This means an award by a court could be considerable, and provided you have the right protection, this would be paid for by the insurer.

Of course, in the long run this potentially means a saving of hundreds of thousands or millions of pounds if you ever do face being sued. This kind of insurance also normally provides protection if you are accused of breach of confidence or copyright, and will even protect you if there is an allegation that one of your employees has acted dishonestly while working on a job. Public liability insurance is an optional extra with many insurers too, allowing you to bunch together certain forms of legal related insurance.

Computer contractors insurance can even be bought which protects you against any future claims which arrive which relate to something which happened before your policy was bought, i.e. something which happened a long time ago. In this sense a policy can help ward off any of the unpleasant financial implications that being sued carries with it.

How computer contractors insurance works

January 18, 2009 · Filed Under Computer Contractors Insurance · Comment 

Some companies can start to see IT as a more complex issue the more the sector develops and the faster the pace of change gets. This means they may be more tempted to outsource certain procedures to external contract is. As a result computer contract as are potentially taking on more and more responsibility. Their role has expanded and become more relevant in the last few years, and they may be responsible for security, development and indirectly for the overall performance of a company. Therefore some choose to take out computer contractors insurance as a precaution, should anything ever go wrong and they end up being accused of making a costly mistake.

Computer contractors insurance may include professional indemnity cover, and this is a type of policy which protects an individual or firm should they ever faced a legal case related to an error they have made. The normal wording means a payout can be claimed for if the policyholder faces an accusation they have made a mistake, omission, or committed an act of negligence in their day-to-day duties.

Serious mistakes such as setting up a new network system incorrectly could cost a company money. This may mean your client decides to turn to legal means to recover any money they have lost. This means hiring a legal team to sort out the matter, and in turn running up a large bill.

Indemnity insurance will pay the cost of hiring legal help while defending the accusation and will even pay out any compensation that might be awarded to a successful applicant. In this sense it operates as a kind of safety net against the risk of legal action.

Policies are available which provide protection for legal bills up to millions of pounds, although this will not be appropriate for every computer contractor. Smaller firms might offer a smaller level of cover and therefore a smaller premium.

Computer contractors are also often entrusted with important data belonging to clients, and most policies will protect the firm against claims if it happens to lose or damage data. Other possible pitfalls like accusations of breach of confidentiality or copyright are also protected against.

This type of computer contractors insurance is also highly flexible and potentially highly effective as it does not matter whether or not the claim levelled against the firm is valid or invalid. The conclusion of a case does not decide whether or not a payout is received. This means policies can potentially save companies hundreds of thousands of pounds in legal expenses should they ever face a tricky legal challenge. Policies are often quite simple to arrange and excesses can also be used to adjust a premium to suit someone’s individual needs.

Computer contractors insurance – protecting your business

December 13, 2008 · Filed Under Computer Contractors Insurance · Comment 

As companies struggle to keep up with the pace of technological change and outdo their rivals, some turn to hiring outside IT consultants to help give them a cutting edge. Tailored software applications are now big business, and having a fully efficient network with sufficient band width is now crucial to many modern businesses. Hardware is also constantly evolving and in-house IT departments might not always have the manpower and skills necessary. This means computer contractors can sometimes be needed, and will sometimes have to take on jobs involving a high amount of responsibility. Some firms will be concerned about the legal risk of taking on ever more important jobs – what if something goes wrong? Thankfully many insurance companies can now provide a quote on computer contractors insurance, designed to give legal protection.

Computer contractors insurance which includes professional indemnity helps to cover one of the greatest financial risks some companies face – the risk of a gigantic legal bill if a mistake is made. One simple error can lead to losses of huge amounts of data on company hard drives – sometimes meaning a company loses a considerable amount of money. If a firm feels a contractor is to blame they might look to recover their losses through the courts.

Professional indemnity as part of a computer contractors insurance policy will cover the legal cost of defending claim which arises as a result of a mistake, error or act of negligence on the part of the contractor – installing a virus system incorrectly, for example. Even invalid claims need to be defended in court and this means hiring a potentially expensive legal team to defend you or your company. Not being able to fully afford this means either representing yourself or facing a mountain of debt and even financial ruin if a case turns out to be particularly expensive.

Agreed limits will apply, however, and an excess will often also have to be paid – perhaps the first £1,000 in legal bills, for example. Beyond this a policy will even pay compensation if a client happens to win their claim. Again there will be a set limit on this.

Time is also an important factor to consider – if a contractor has been trading for some time but does not have an insurance policy in place they may need retroactive cover for any claim which later arrives dating back to something which happened before the policy was taken out. In a similar way, over run or ‘run off’ cover can be arranged if someone is moving to a new career or retiring.

Lastly, computer contractors insurance with professional indemnity will also cover pitfalls like accusations of breach of confidence or copyright, and even an allegation of defamation, meaning legal help could be affordable even when the unexpected happens and a court case has to be defended.

Getting a computer contractors insurance quote

November 19, 2008 · Filed Under Computer Contractors Insurance · Comment 

Most firms big and small get through years or even decades without making a serious mistake which leads to problems for a client. Even people who work alone as freelancers do not tend to take on responsibility without knowing what they are doing and planning ahead. However, a few businesses do end up making mistakes which can have serious consequences. With more and more companies relying heavily on the smooth running of a computer system, the role of a reliable computer contractor is more important than ever. This means they can regularly be asked to undertake projects that are important to the smooth running or development of a business. A mistake can therefore be highly damaging to a client, who may even seek financial compensation. Although this sounds daunting and off-putting, protection against such an eventuality can be arranged by first getting a computer contractors insurance quote.

Computer contractors insurance will often include professional indemnity cover, and this protects the business or individual should they face being sued after making a mistake or omission while on the job. It also provides cover for negligence claims. Put simply it covers the cost of legally defending such an action, which can often be considerable. It will even pay compensation to the claimant should it be awarded to them, up to certain pre-agreed limits.

A computer contractor can even find themselves facing a legal claim because a client is simply not happy with their work. An invalid claim will still have to be defended and will still run up a bill – indemnity cover is designed to remove this concern, allowing the policyholder to concentrate on running the rest of the business.

A computer contractor professional indemnity policy will also normally guard against other eventualities such as being sued for libel after unintentionally defaming someone. It will also provide protection if someone faces a case having been accused of intellectual property theft or breach of confidence.

To get cover, it could be best to simply get a computer contractors insurance quote and ask to check that professional indemnity insurance is included. In exchange for a premium, a policy will then protect a firm or freelance against almost any legal eventuality that it may encounter.

Getting protected with computer contractors insurance

November 18, 2008 · Filed Under Computer Contractors Insurance · Comment 

When setting up a business in the IT sector, there’s usually a check list to be gone through before a business can operate fully. Once premises have been secured, equipment bought and marketing budgeted for, attention tends to turn to the more detailed administration requirements. An insurance policy will be needed to protect the business should it suffer a burglary or fire – few people forget this – but legal risks can also require a form of protection. Making a mistake while working for a client, such as erasing data or failing to install virus software properly, can lead to the company concerned losing money, sometimes referred to as suffering ‘financial injury’. The client may then look to get compensation by making a legal claim. This is why computer contractors insurance which includes professional indemnity cover can be important.

Although some businesses overlook it entirely or put off getting it, indemnity insurance is seen as increasingly important to any firm which provides professional advice to clients. This is because of a higher emphasis on taking legal action in the event of suffering a loss – a more legally aware society naturally leads to more claims, valid or invalid.

An indemnity insurance policy tends to apply when a case is levelled against a consultant following a mistake, omission or act of negligence. It won’t make the problem go away but will cover the legal costs of defending such a case, up to an agreed ceiling. Hiring a defence team can be a highly costly proposition – particularly in more lengthy or detailed cases.

One option of course, would be for the contractor to conduct their own legal defence – unlikely to be successful if they have no legal training. Representing oneself also means being away from the business for long periods, which could lead to the loss of other clients – therefore most people do not take this chance and instead opt for the right type of insurance cover.

Computer contractors insurance with indemnity cover will often have public liability insurance incorporated into the policy. It will also cover legal claims such as being sued having unintentionally defamed someone or breached their confidentiality or copyright. Cover will also normally kick in if a contractor faces a damages claim after losing someone’s important documents or data. Even if an employee steals from a client who then sues, the indemnity cover will then pick up the legal bill.

Premiums will relate to the level of computer contractors insurance cover required and any excesses which are agreed – with some policies being good value without scrimping on the detail. Once the cover is in place a computer contractor then need not unduly worry about a legal case – any related costs should not significantly trouble their business.

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