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Thread: liability insurance

  1. #1
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    liability insurance

    Hi everyone,

    I've been doing lots of freelance work lately alongside my main job. Mostly photographers sites, that sort of thing.

    One of my projects is turning very serious though and getting into e-commerce and back-end ordering systems. I would love to go for it and have a programmer lined up to help, but I am worried about liability.

    So I was wondering: I'm not a proper freelancer and most of the work isn't done through, erm, proper channels. Can I still take out liability insurance? Should I do it?

    What are other people's thoughts on this? I'm in the UK by the way.

    cheers - n.

  2. #2
    An Inconvenient Serving Size hurricaneone's Avatar
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    If you don't get any payment up front, and then find yourself unable to complete your end of the deal, then you would not have placed yourself in a situation where you could be seen as being liable.

    Of course, getting payment up front tends to get the customer's attention, gets them available for you when you need to ask questions, get content etc. as their investment has already begun, but if you're unsure of how well this project will go, perhaps it's better done on prospectus?

    If that's a good way of putting it.
    Stand by for emergency synapse rerouting

  3. #3
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    thanks hurricaneone,

    that's all very true. What I meant more though is what happens if the systems I develop for them fail at some point in the future. They are quite critical to the whole ordering process, so they would stand to lose (poss a lot of) money if that happened - and might consider sueing me.

    Surely someone else out there has an opinion on this subject?

    cheers - n.

  4. #4
    Fearing Dawn
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    I too am very interested in this paricular question. If anyone could lend some experience it would be immensely appreciated.
    "And it is in his own image, let us remember, that Man creates God." ~~ H. Havelock Ellis

  5. #5
    Lunch is for wimps. erova's Avatar
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    in the states a million bucks of liability insurance usually goes for under 350 bucks a year. that covers you in case you fall while working on site, and it covers failures in software and hardware, and usually theft or loss.

    a lot of contractors require at least a million bucks--i use ITT Hartford and just pay it to not even think about it...

  6. #6
    Moderator RazoRmedia's Avatar
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    but surely you can avoid this in the contract?

    Offer them a 6 months 'warranty' period.

    I usually state that when working on any large scale project, once signed off and approved, it is taken as a working system and I am removed from the equation after six months. If after six months, the system fails, I, as the developer am not liable as the system has been used perfectly well before. If the system fails before six months, I am not liable for any loss of profits but will maintain and solve any problems that arise according to the original brief.

    Alternatively, get them to pay you a set maintenance fee of x per month to keep yourself interested in the project. Again, any maintenance contract should have it set in stone that any problems with the system after launch will be amended but the developer(s) will not be held responsible for any downtime or loss of profits.

    Set it in stone before you touch it.
    Living the dream

  7. #7
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    Thanks erova + razor,

    that's interesting advice. The point about contracts is a good one, I hadn't really thought it through properly before.

    means I can sleep easier now

    cheers - n.

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