A while back, if you asked someone what they did for a living and they said ‘I’m in IT’, you’d know what they meant. Something to do with computers, basically.
Ask that same person today and you’ll probably get a very different answer.
‘I’m an app-developer’, they might tell you. Or, ‘I’m a website designer’. They might even say, ‘I’m a google analytics and SEO consultant specializing in social media and online PR’.
That’s because these days, there really isn’t any such thing as an ‘IT guy’. As the industry’s developed (with dizzying speed) it’s become more specialized. With the knock-on effect that the skills needed to understand and apply that technology have become more specialized, too.
Same industry, different risks
Sure, any two consultants might be considered IT people. And both might work with technology. But the risks they face could be completely different.
For example, a website developer’s more likely to face claims for copyright and intellectual property infringement. A software consultant, on the other hand, is more at risk of breach of contract claims.
Two roles, both IT-related, two specific areas of cover needed.
Errors and omissions for IT and Technology
Thankfully, most decent insurers are aware of this. So they designed errors and omissions (professional liability) policies which cater specifically for the kind of claims most tech-folk face.
But it’s still worth having a good, hard think about the kind of work you do and checking that the coverage you have is the coverage you need.
Check the small print
Already have an errors and omissions policy in place? Great! But do check the wording is IT-specific, not miscellaneous, or general.
You want to make sure your policy includes cover for claims arising from:
- Supplying things like hardware, or software
- Use of third-party content (like videos, music or images)
- Negligent virus transfer
Check you’ve got enough coverage, too. Because if you haven’t, and a client sues you for a sum that’s more than your policy limit, you’ll be left high and dry.
How much is enough cover? It’s always best to over-estimate. Legal fees and compensation costs can go through the roof. So think worst-case. What’s the most expensive mistake you might make? Then pick a figure you can realistically afford.
And just to be on the safe side, talk it through with someone who knows. Like an errors and omissions insurance broker.