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Web designers play an important role in almost every business today, helping to strengthen a company’s online profile, developing beautiful designs to enhance web applications, and providing user-friendly web experiences for customers. While you are focused on building your web design business, it’s also important to take a step back and make sure your company is prepared for the risks that come with running a business. It’s a good idea to consider purchasing a broad package of insurance policies to financially protect your company from risks ranging from client lawsuits to cyberattacks.
What insurance coverage do I need for my web design company?
While there are many types of coverage for companies to consider, these insurance policies are particularly important for web designers to consider:
Media Liability Insurance
Good web design is essential for most modern businesses, and clients may have high expectations when they hire web designers. If the final product doesn’t turn out how they envisioned it, isn’t ready on time, or lacks key features, clients could sue you with allegations of professional negligence. Media liability insurance can protect your business against these risks by covering lawsuits and damages brought by dissatisfied clients alleging failures in your professional services. Media liability insurance also provides coverage for personal and advertising injury, in the case that your firm is sued for libel, slander, or copyright infringement.
- A client hires you to create a website for their new home water filtration system product. Unfortunately, several key employees unexpectedly leave your company, delaying the project. At the deadline, the website design lacks several important features, and the client must delay their product’s planned launch date. Changing the launch date and altering ad campaigns costs the client thousands of dollars. The client sues your firm for damages. Your insurer would cover the lawsuit and any damages or settlements.
Cyber Liability Insurance
As a web designer, computer networks and online systems are crucial to your job. This is why it’s important to consider cyber liability insurance. No matter how carefully you manage your cybersecurity, hackers are always discovering new methods of breaking into digital systems, which means that there’s always a chance that your company could fall prey to a new type of cyberattack. If hackers are able to access private data through your systems, your company could be held liable, and a virus could slow your business to a halt as well. Cyber liability insurance can provide financial assistance to help your company stay in business in the event of cyberattacks, and insurers often provide resources to help you prevent incidents as well.
- Hackers breach your database of web design clients and steal personally identifiable data, including credit card information and email addresses. Your clients sue your business for failing to adequately protect their confidential data. Your insurer will pay for your legal fees and any settlements or judgments in the case.
Commercial Property Insurance
If an unexpected disaster damages your company’s physical property, commercial property insurance will reimburse you for the loss. This type of insurance is important if you own or rent your building or office space, or if you own valuable business property such as computer equipment, furniture, or artwork. Commonly covered perils include storms, hail, fire, vandalism, and water damage.
- Someone breaks into your firm’s offices over the weekend and steals desktop computers, laptops, and tablets valued at $30,000. Your insurance company will reimburse you for the loss and pay for the replacement of windows that were broken during the break-in.
General Liability Insurance
General liability insurance is a common coverage for most businesses as almost all companies have some level of risk for third-party bodily injuries and property damage. If a third party—someone who is not you or your employee—is injured on your property, or if one of your employees damages a non-employee’s property during the course of their work, you could be held liable. Bodily injury and property damage suits can cause significant financial strain for your business. If you meet with clients at their offices, host clients at your own location, or receive deliveries at your offices, it’s a good idea to consider general liability insurance. Although general liability policies can also include personal and advertising injury coverage, web design businesses are commonly excluded from this coverage.
- Bodily injury: A client visits your offices to consult on a website you have been contracted to create for them. While at your offices, the client trips over a misplaced cable and fractures an ankle. Your general liability insurance would cover medical fees and legal costs if the client sues.
- Property damage: One of your web designers visits a client’s office to discuss updates to their website’s design. She trips and falls against an expensive decor item, damaging it. Your general liability insurance would pay for the damages.
- A business owner’s policy bundles general liability, property, business income, and extra expense coverage into one package. For small or midsize companies, this type of policy could help you obtain a wide range of coverage while paying less in premiums than you would if you bought each policy individually.
- Business income insurance will reimburse you for lost income and operating expenses if your business is unable to operate due to a covered reason, such as fire, storm damage, or other property damage.
- In most states, workers’ compensation insurance is legally required for companies with employees. It covers the medical expenses and lost income of employees who are injured or fall ill while working. For IT companies, repetitive strain injuries are common sources of workers’ compensation claims.
- Employment practices liability insurance protects your business if you are sued by employees accusing your business of wrongful treatment. Common claims include discrimination, harassment, or other employment-related issues.
Pricing and Quotes
Pricing for business insurance will vary based on the type of insurance coverage and the risk profile of your business. Insurers consider factors such as:
- Business size
- Number of employees
- Claims history
Businesses with higher risks will have higher premiums than those deemed lower risk. For example, a web design firm with a history of frequent claims will face higher premiums. Premiums also rise as you increase the limits of insurance. Different insurance companies have different models for rating risks, so it is worth comparing pricing across different insurers.
In order to get an accurate estimate on pricing, it’s best to get a quote from a reputable insurance company. Below we’ve highlighted a few of our trusted partners who offer coverage for technology businesses:
|Provider||General Liability||Professional Liability||Business Owner's Policy|
Your company could be held liable or suffer damage from a variety of serious risks. It’s important to be prepared if a disaster strikes, whether it’s a fire that destroys your property, a lawsuit brought by an unhappy client, or a cyberattack that puts your network out of commission. Ensuring that your company has a wide range of business insurance coverage can give you, your employees, and your clients peace of mind, knowing that your company will be able to survive an unexpected catastrophe.