What insurance might you need?
In addition to property and contents insurance, whether you personally need insurance will depend if you work independently or are employed by an agency or company. If you’re employed by someone it’s worth reviewing the cover that they have in place first to see if it’s adequate to your needs.
Employer’s Liability Insurance
If you have staff, then you need employers’ liability insurance by law and are required to display a copy of your Employer’s Liability Certificate of Insurance where your employees can easily read it. Failure to display the certificate can result a fine of £1000 from the Health & Safety Executive (HSE). Failure to have Employer’s Liability insurance could lead to a fine of up to £2,500 for every day you don't have this insurance in place.
Professional Indemnity Insurance
If you’re an independent social media assistant and work for yourself, you might want to consider a specific type of liability insurance called professional indemnity insurance (PI).
PI insurance covers you from the cost of defending damages or compensation claims that are made against you by your clients if your mistake or omission resulted in their financial loss.
It’s worth noting that the insurance will pay out for any valid claim made during the policy period, irrespective of when the mistake occurred – as long as you were covered at that time too. If, for example, you published a post on your blog a while back, but recently, a person the message was about claims it was inaccurate or defamatory and makes a claim against you now. If you didn’t have PI at the time you published the post or aren’t covered when the claim was made, your insurance provider won’t pay compensation costs and you could find yourself vulnerable.
PI cover typically has a retroactive date, which is usually when your business or your first professional indemnity insurance policy started, hence it’s important you don’t have gaps in your PI insurance but renew it regularly for continuous protection.
You might consider this is a minor concern or simply that it won’t happen to you - but it could be beneficial to be protected for such events. Think about it, you work in an industry which is growing and moving so fast that no matter how much care you take, mistakes could happen.
We’re not talking about simple spelling mistakes here either, we’re talking about errors that could land your business is a lot of hot water, such as:
- You inadvertently infringe upon a patent or copyright. Maybe for example, you use a photo or two that turn out to be owned by someone. No big deal? Well it could be if your post goes viral and the owner comes calling.
- Breaches of confidentiality. You might let something slip that you shouldn’t have or mistakenly disclose some facts in a blog or article that shouldn’t be in the public domain. If you’re sued for damages, this could get expensive fast.
- Defamation, libel or slander. You might have been asked to prepare an advert for a client, but despite your best efforts to research the topic upfront, the ad turns out to be inaccurate or even misleading. In consequence it not only harms your client’s name but also gives their competitors an unfair advantage. Your client is not likely to go easy on you for this…
- Standard of work and care. An unhappy client may decide that your work isn’t up to scratch as they suffered a loss as a result. In the competitive world of social media, a botched project could cost your client market share or sales. If they decide to pursue damages, you might need to defend yourself.