Our guide to insurance for graphic designers
Why do graphic designers need insurance?
The work of a graphic designer, as good and conscientious as they might be, is often subjective and clients’ brief can be less than clear. It’s therefore unsurprising that graphic designers often face contract disputes resulting in unpaid invoices.
The worse scenario is when a client demands their money back because they’re not satisfied with what you’ve delivered. Now they’re threatening you and even though you might be in a strong position, it’s still all very stressful but most importantly the dispute has to be handled correctly to avoid a bad outcome.
What is often not thought of but happens more and more to graphic designers is the impact of our society becoming very politically correct. Your work may inadvertently cause offence and if your client faces a financial loss as result, it's likely you'll be held liable. There are steps you can take to prevent this kind of situation but having a back up plan such as professional indemnity insurance might be useful.
It's not always a laughing matter but an amusing example of graphic design going pear shaped is the logo design by the Australian government for The Women's Network. Even though it was swiftly discontinued, you can still find in online. Have a search and imagine the backlash :).
Another couple of reasons why, as a graphic or digital designer, you might need professional indemnity insurance is the contract with your client, or your membership organisation might require it as part of their ethos.
What does graphic designer liability insurance cover?
Suited PI cover will provide you with an immediate access to an experienced legal team who will review a developing situation with an unhappy client and either they’ll advise you what to do next or they’ll take over if appropriate. Their fees and costs will be covered and if there’s any payout due, your insurers will take care of it.
Suited PI cover comes with another benefit - Business Legal Protect. We mentioned before that contract disputes and unpaid invoices are commonplace for graphic designers. Standard PI insurance isn’t designed for that which is why we have built in the business legal expenses section so that you as a small business owner can be confident during those troublesome legal and tax situations such as IR35 investigations or HMRC enquiries.
Suited Business Legal Protect can be particularly useful to graphic designers because it also offers expert advice and a cover of up £25,000 for associated expenses for a negative PR event that has hit your business. Say your work didn't down so well with certain audience and your business is now facing a lot of negative press. You can turn to the experts behind Suited Business Legal Protect and they will handle the situation for you to ensure that any reputational damage is minimised.
How much PI insurance do graphic designers need?
Legal disputes are costly in the UK. If someone is bringing a claim against you, they mean business because it is rather expensive and time consuming to do so. Ensure, if you buy PI cover for your business, that it's not just a nominal amount of a few thousands. Before you select a limit, consider the following:
- What does the contract with your client say? Does it mentioned professional indemnity and if so, does it reference a limit? Or perhaps the contract is referring to your liability for any damages. If it states an amount, for example £1,000,000, then that's a good guide what your PI cover should be.
- How will your work be used and who's the end consumer? Consider the impact if your work is considered unacceptable for any reason. How much damage is it likely to cause to your client?
- How many clients do you have and how much work are you producing. When you're busy, things can slip. Especially when you're using contractors who may not be as good as you and you don't have the time to check their work.
- What is the level of responsibility you take for your work? If you're in charge of the final product and also manage the release then you're exposed a lot more than someone who's just a member of a team controlled by another manager.
Business legal protect
- Provides qualified advice on business related legal, tax and negative publicity matters
- Pays legal costs & expenses including appeal costs if you or your business face a legal threat or an HMRC/IR35 enquiry
- Chases up business debts over £200 if your credit control procedures didn’t work
- Included with your Professional Indemnity cover
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