Why do graphic designers need insurance?
The work of a graphic designer is often subjective, and clients’ briefs can be less than clear. Unsurprisingly, graphic and digital designers often face contract disputes, resulting in unpaid invoices or requests for redo work.
Copyright infringement claims
As a UX, graphic or digital designer, you get paid to produce unique graphic work to meet the high expectations of your clients. Sometimes, legal disputes arise over the originality of a graphic designer’s work.
Designers often find themselves facing unpaid invoices at the end of a project. Chasing invoices is time-consuming; sometimes, you need a lawyer's help to get the desired results.
Damage to your work equipment
As a designer, you're dependent on specialist electronic equipment. A damaged or lost computer could seriously delay or hinder your work.
Sometimes, a client's feedback can lead to excessive re-edits not part of the agreed remit. If you refuse, a client may demand compensation for the cost of the unfinished work.
Demands for refunds
The worst scenario is when a client, unsatisfied with your work product, demands their money back. If you refuse, they might issue a legal threat. Even though you might be in a strong position, you must handle any legal dispute correctly to avoid a bad outcome.
Another risk of creating artwork is the impact of our society becoming sensitive to specific issues. Your work may inadvertently offend, and if your client faces a financial loss, you may become embroiled in a legal dispute.
An amusing example of design gone pear-shaped is the pear logo designed by the Australian government for The Women's Network. The logo created a significant public backlash and negative press for the firm that delivered the work.
Professional indemnity insurance for graphic designers
Professional indemnity insurance protects graphic designers from accusations of professional mistakes, negligence, copyright infringement and other claims against you or your business.
Given the potential exposures graphic designers can face, professional indemnity can be very affordable compared to the possible costs if you need to defend yourself.
What does graphic designer professional indemnity insurance cover?
Professional indemnity insurance protects graphic designers from claims or accusations of wrongdoing from their professional advice or work product.
- Failing your duty of care
- Making a mistake
- Acting negligently
- Giving the wrong advice or recommendation
- Your work is alleged to be in breach of copyright
- Your work has caused an adverse reaction and affected your client’s business
- Your client demands a refund because they believe your work isn’t up to standards
Suited PI cover will provide you with immediate access to an experienced legal team who will review a developing situation with an unhappy client and advise you on what to do next or take over if appropriate.
What professional indemnity limit do graphic designers need?
You should consider several factors when deciding on a professional indemnity limit.
Factors to keep in mind:
- Does your contract specify professional indemnity up to a specific limit?
- Does your contract state you agree to be liable for damages up to a certain amount (e.g. £1,000,000)?
- What is the total value of your client contracts over the last few years?
- What costs might you be exposed to if your work goes wrong?
- How will your work be used, and who is the end consumer?
- If your work product was seen as offensive or caused distress, what might this cost your client?
- What might it cost your client if you can’t deliver on time?
- Do you play a senior role in the delivery of work?
Does professional indemnity insurance cover my graphic design activities worldwide?
Your professional indemnity policy's ‘territory or geographical limits’ and ‘jurisdiction’ sections specify if your web designer insurance will respond when working in different countries.
Territory or geographical limits:
The territory or geographical limit specifies where you can virtually or physically deliver your services. For example: “Worldwide.”
The jurisdictional limit specifies which legal jurisdictions your policy will defend you if you are sued. For example: “Worldwide excluding US and Canada.”
Any contracts or agreements you enter into with your clients should specify the ‘governing law’ for that contract, which is the jurisdiction in which parties can seek legal remedy for breach of contract.
Avoid entering contracts not governed by your local jurisdiction and/or excluded by your web designer professional indemnity insurance.
If you work with US and Canadian clients, you can reduce your risk by not entering contracts governed by US and Canadian laws.
Switching your professional indemnity insurance
Typically, in the UK, if you cancel a professional indemnity policy, you can no longer claim against it.
Therefore, if you switch your graphic design insurance provider, be sure your new policy covers your past work; this is called “retroactive cover”.
Should I keep professional indemnity insurance if I close my graphic design business?
It’s wise to keep your professional indemnity if you close your design agency. Claims against professional misconduct can surface months or years after you delivered the work.
If a past client sues you for damages and you have cancelled your professional indemnity, you will not be covered.
How long you keep your cover in place is up to you; consider the type of work you did and the likelihood that a client might bring a claim against you.
Public liability insurance for graphic designers
Public liability insurance shields graphic designers from claims of injuries or property damage.
If you have any kind of face-to-face contact with your clients and the public during your business, then there is a risk of third-party injury or property damage. Something as small as spilling your flat white over a client’s laptop can set you back a few thousand pounds.
Public liability is an inexpensive protection against unfortunate incidents such as slips, falls, or you causing damage to a third party’s computer equipment.
What does graphic designer public liability insurance cover?
Public liability insurance is valuable when faced with injury claims and compensation demands.
- accidental injury or death
- accidental property damage
- A client visits your premises and is injured in a slip or fall
- You visit a client site and damage equipment by knocking over a coffee
Other insurance graphic designers buy
Graphic designers need insurance policies tailored to their unique situation. Consider factors such as legal disputes, negative PR, equipment costs, and illness.
Commercial legal expenses
Most commercial legal expenses insurance will protect graphic designers against various tax and legal issues you may encounter due to your profession, which are not covered by professional indemnity or public liability.
At Suited, we combined £100,000 of commercial legal expenses insurance with helplines and other tools to better assist graphic designers in dealing with these issues. We call this Business Legal Protect, and it’s part of your subscription.
Business Legal Protect offers qualified advice and assistance with:
- Legal and tax matters concerning your business
- Criminal prosecution
- Unpaid invoices (over £200)
- HMRC investigates your tax affairs
- You are facing an investigation from a professional body
- You need legal help chasing a significant unpaid invoice
- You’re being taken to court for breach of contract
Electronic business equipment insurance
Graphic designers rely on electronic equipment to deliver their services more than ever. If your business depends on electronic equipment, consider electronic business equipment insurance.
Income protection insurance
Income protection insurance covers your earnings if you become so ill you cannot continue to work.
Graphic designers we insure
Suited offers comprehensive insurance policies that cater to the needs of a wide range of graphic designers, including:
- Animators and illustrators
- CG artists
- Design consultants (non-structural)
- Graphic & digital design consultants
- Motion graphic artists
- Packaging designers
- and more..
Shopping for graphic designer insurance
Whether or not you decide to use Suited graphic designer insurance to protect your business, it’s worth keeping the following in mind:
Cheap graphic designer insurance
When selecting your graphic designer insurance, it's important to look beyond just the cost. It's crucial to choose a trustworthy provider. Suited offers quick and numerous ways to communicate, ensuring you feel secure.
The reputation of the insurer is important
Insurance needs to be there when you need it most. The payout reputation of an insurer is essential. Suited uses financially sound insurers with an A+ rating.
Many providers charge fees to amend or cancel
Low initial prices often hide additional charges to pay monthly, amend or cancel your policy. At Suited, we charge no extra fees, and you can cancel anytime with no more to pay.
Some policy wordings are restrictive or have a high excess
Some providers will offer attractive prices, but it is at the expense of cover given. Suited professional indemnity and public liability have £0 excess.