Professional indemnity insurance is a must-have for creative professionals such as web designers and graphic designers. PI is an essential element covering the huge costs incurred when faced with a claim for the likes of copyright infringement, professional negligence and loss of data.
As a designer, you’ll undoubtedly always be on your guard against your own work being copied or exploited. However there are many situations where you could inadvertently find yourself in hot water, facing a claim for compensation from a client or third party with the potential to run into a six-figure payout. It’s happened many times before and will inevitably happen again.
Without an adequate insurance plan in place, dealing with a compensation claim could be fatal to your business. If you make an honest mistake, having PI insurance gives you financial leverage for employing strong legal advice to help you settle out of court – avoiding reputation-damaging attention and potential ruin.
If you fall victim to a malicious client hell-bent on taking you to the cleaners by building a case against you based on lies, you’ll definitely want your legal fees covered for such a battle. These David versus Goliath type cases can go either way and you need to be in a position to cover the costs of quality legal representation.
Innocent mistake or not, copyright is copyright
While you might think you know it all when it comes to UK copyright law, even the most vigilant graphic artists and website designers can slip up. Copyright cases aren’t always against those who consciously steal somebody else’s work. In fact, today’s complicated digital landscape presents plenty of room to make innocent mistakes.
Maybe you’re instructed by a client to use stock images for multiple marketing materials and accidentally download photos that are forbidden for commercial use. Some images might be okay for commercial use, yet have a clause allowing them only to be used once. Therefore by reproducing it for multiple means would be breaking copyright law. It’s not just images that are subject to copyright law. Anything used within a design, including symbols and fonts, could leave you liable to copyright infringement.
Even something as seemingly innocuous as as your online portfolio has the potential to get you into trouble. If you signed a non-disclosure agreement with an agency, for example, they could see fit to take action against you if you include details of the work carried out for them without permission.
Professional negligence is a real risk for even the best designers
Similar to copyright infringement, designers facing claims for professional negligence are not necessarily incompetent. One innocent mistake is all it takes to end up in this position. A mis-communication from a staff member or a failed calendar entry could lead to a missed deadline for a leaflet design, damaging a client’s crucial time-sensitive marketing campaign.
A web designer might follow a client’s brief perfectly and create a professional website by all accounts. However, there’s always a risk that the client won’t be happy with the final product. What’s in effect creative differences is sometimes enough to result in a professional negligence claim. Essentially, whether or not you’ve broken the law or made a mistake is beside the point. Even if you are completely innocent, professional indemnity insurance helps to cover the legal expenses of fighting against such claims, whether they’re justified or not.
Are you still unsure why you need PI insurance? Whether you’re after web designers insurance or graphic designers insurance, our expert consultants can provide you with all the information to create a bespoke plan tailored to your specific business needs.