Working in graphic design can be challenging – tight deadlines combined with sometimes difficult clients can put huge amounts of pressure on you and your team. Undoubtedly every graphic designer does what they can to keep their client happy, but sometimes projects just don’t go to plan.
Whether you work from home as a sole trader or run an established design agency, it’s important to protect against mistakes that could not only cause financial problems for your business, but for your client’s too.
Protecting your services
In providing your clients with creative, you are providing them with a service – and they expect this to be of a high standard. If you were to make a mistake in creative supplied to a client, or were otherwise negligent in providing your services, your client could suffer a financial loss as a result. In these situations, it’s likely your client will seek compensation from you to cover their losses.
Professional indemnity insurance is designed to cover these kinds of scenarios. It covers against the costs of defending your business against allegations of negligence, mistakes or errors in work you have supplied to your client. In the event your claim is defended unsuccessfully, professional indemnity insurance can cover the compensation payments to your client.We recommend selecting an insurance provider specialising in cover for consultants such as Markel, visit them here.
Copyright infringement is one particular area that sees a lot of disputes between graphic designers and their clients. When working on projects, particularly large ones, acquiring the correct licenses for media, such as photographs for a website or brochure, can be a job in itself. Claims have been brought when the designer has unintentionally failed to acquire the correct license for using the photograph commercially. In certain cases, the client receives a letter from the photographer’s (or a stock photography website’s) solicitor alleging the copyright infringement and requesting payment and compensation. Ultimately the graphic designer is to blame (even in instances where the client has signed off on the work) and as a result they have to compensate both their client and the photographer/stock photography website. Professional indemnity insurance would cover against such a situation.
If you arrange print jobs and specifications for your client, this can be another area where your business may be exposed. In one particular claim, a graphic designer was hired by a retailer to create a specification for labels that would attach to Christmas trees. Unfortunately, due to the graphic designer’s negligence, the labels didn’t stand the test of time. The ink ran on them, rendering them useless, and the retailer brought a claim against the graphic designer. Without professional indemnity insurance, the graphic designer would have had to pay thousands of pounds in solicitors’ fees and compensation out of their own pocket.
Business interruption cover
While professional indemnity insurance can cover your business if you make a mistake in your work, how do you cover your business against things that are outside of your control?
We all know that life can sometimes throw a curveball in the way of floods, fires and other damage that makes things that little bit more difficult. As a business owner it can cause a huge financial headache due to the interruption and possible loss of business because of this. Business interruption cover means that should your usual work premises be unusable (for example, as a result of flood or fire damage) you will be covered for the loss of income or the additional costs in running your business, such as renting a temporary office or hiring extra staff to ensure work is completed on time.
The ‘blame and claim’ culture has forced many businesses to think carefully about their liabilities to clients and members of the public who are on their property. Public and product liability insurance (also known as general liability insurance) can cover you for damage you cause to third party property, or injury you cause to a member of the public (including your clients). This could include, for example, if you knocked your client’s expensive laptop on the floor during a meeting, or if a client were to trip over a wire and injure themselves while visiting your office. Even if you are home-based and you rarely have clients come to visit, you run the risk of damaging their office when you visit them or breaking loaned equipment, so it’s important to consider taking out public and products liability insurance.