5 Ways to Protect Your IT Business
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7 Things to Know before Buying Insurance for Your IT Business
As an IT professional, you know that business insurance is an essential safeguard for your company. But as you
We offer business insurance policies explicitly designed for professionals in computer, web, and IT fields. Here’s a look at how each of these types of insurance can protect your tech business.
General Liability Insurance for Computer, Web, IT Services, & IT Staffing Firms
While IT professionals enjoy a relatively low risk from an insurance perspective (technology businesses do not have especially high rates of physical injury), they still face some level of risk exposure. General Liability Insurance is the starting point for coverage for all businesses and protects your business from accusations that it caused property damage or injury to a third party.
If and when your business faces such accusations, your General Liability coverage pays for the costs of defending yourself in court, including attorney’s fees, docket and witness costs, and settlement or judgment costs, up to policy limits.
If the risk profile of your IT firm is low enough (and you meet certain other criteria), you may be eligible for a Business Owner’s Policy, or BOP, which combines General Liability and Property Insurance into one bundled package. One of the main advantages of the BOP is that it comes at a reduced premium compared with buying the two policies separately.
Professional Liability Insurance/ Errors & Omissions Coverage for Computer, Web, IT Services, & IT Staffing Firms
If a project you complete or service you perform for one of your clients causes its server to crash, its system to shut down, or its stored data to be lost, you could face a lawsuit seeking significant monetary damages. Investing in Errors & Omissions Insurance (also called Professional Liability Insurance) is one of the simplest ways to protect yourself and your business from having to cover those costs out of pocket.
E&O Insurance takes effect when a client claims that your work caused him or her financial losses, assuming that your E&O policy is still in effect and that it was in effect at the time you completed the work in question.
A typical Errors and Omissions policy is available in increments of $1 million and comes with a deductible (the amount you pay out of pocket before your benefits kick in) of about $1,000. Your insureon agent can help you determine how much E&O Insurance will be adequate to protect your business.
Workers’ Compensation Insurance for Computer, Web, IT Services, & IT Staffing Firms
No matter where in the country you operate your business, there’s a good chance state laws mandate that you carry some form of Workers’ Compensation Insurance, which protects workers in the event that they become ill or injured during the course of their work.
A typical Workers’ Compensation policy offers payments for both medical expenses associated with treating an illness or injury and for any legal costs associated with defending or challenging the accusation of negligence. Your policy might also pay the wages or salary an injured worker would have earned had he or she been able to continue working.
As you consider the various Workers’ Compensation policies available to you, be sure to ask your agent about whether your policy will cover contract workers in addition to full- and part-time employees, and whether you can purchase a policy that covers you as the business owner if you should get hurt.
Property Insurance / Business Owner’s Policy (BOP) for Computer, Web, IT Services, & IT Staffing Firms
Property Insurance for IT professionals helps keep safe the venue in which you perform your business as well as the equipment you need to do you work (such as computers, tablets, smart phones, and more). Because most IT professionals rely heavily on their technology to complete their work, Property Insurance is often an essential part of a tech firm’s insurance package.
When you choose Property Insurance for your tech business, be sure to ask your insurance agent whether it makes more sense to insure your gear for its current value or its full replacement value. The former may yield lower premiums, but the latter will result in a payout of the full replacement cost of your equipment in the case that anything should happen to it.
Umbrella Insurance/ Excess Liability Coverage for Computer, Web, IT Services, & IT Staffing Firms
Umbrella Insurance extends the coverage of other insurance policies for a relatively low price. Rather than expanding coverage levels on a number of policies, IT professionals can purchase a single Umbrella Insurance policy and enjoy greater protection in a number of areas.
To get an idea of how Umbrella Insurance works, imagine that a storm damaged $500,000 worth of your equipment but your General Liability policy offered only $250,000 in coverage. If you had an Umbrella policy in place, its coverage could be added to the General Liability coverage you received so that you could replace your equipment.
It’s important to note, though, that Umbrella Insurance policies cannot be applied to Errors and Omissions policies.
Reduce the risk of Errors & Omissions lawsuits by proactively preventing errors.
IT, computer, and web professionals work with some of the most valuable and sensitive information that their clients use. You can reduce the risk that your business is hit with a costly E&O lawsuit by taking certain preventative measures up front, including establishing clear guidelines for password protecting and encrypting data, putting clear limits on who can use mobile devices for which activities, and outlining project expectations clearly in client contracts.
Be aware of the potential scope of E&O lawsuits.
Even if you provide only a small piece of specialized work or consulting for a much larger project, you could be named in an E&O suit from an unhappy client. E&O Insurance protects you from litigious third parties and indiscriminate lawyers looking to receive maximum settlements.