As the first point of contact, a company’s website should accurately reflect the services it offers while appearing true to the values its brand holds. A web designer is hired with the understanding that they can deliver these requirements to the highest possible standard in a timely and efficient manner. Therefore, the pressure on web designers is understandably significant. When Sean Penn sued a web design company for failing to properly update his charity’s website in the wake of a natural disaster, it caused a stir in the legal world as well as the celebrity gossip columns.
Aside from the obvious risks of incorrectly interpreting a client brief or leaving the site vulnerable to cyber-attacks, there are a number of other external factors which could jeopardise the relationship between a web designer and their client – all of which can be helped by taking preventative measures such as obtaining professional indemnity insurance.
In this particular case, web designer insurance can help if the firm supplying the web design service is involved in a professional negligence claim. If the client suffers financial loss or reputational damage as a result of a misrepresentation made in the design of their website, you as the designer could be held responsible for making up the shortfall. Professional indemnity insurance covers against the cost of defending any legal actions which may reasonably be taken by the client as a result – as well as protecting your reputation from coming to harm by having taken the appropriate professional measures in the first place.
As well as protection from professional mishaps, other preventative measures should be considered. You might think that running a small web design business from your home negates the need to think like an office-based firm; however, separate homeworkers insurance might be required to ensure that you’re covered in any other eventuality. Visiting clients at their place of business would also require a form of insurance known as public and product liability insurance in case of physical accidents or damage to company property.
No matter what size your business, you should be appropriately represented as a professional who will get the job done right – but for the seemingly small risks which can turn into reputation-killers, acquiring insurance against such possible consequences is the responsible thing to do.