Nobody gets into graphic design to run a business. Taxes, paperwork, accounts… ugh. You do it because you have a talent for creating. You want to choose the projects that excite you and use your skill to help clients. But when you work for yourself and run the operation you're exposed to risk.
For example, did you know that copyright infringement is the biggest cause of claims against freelance graphic designers? Even an unfounded claim can lead to you needing to pay for legal fees and compensating a client. That's why insurance exists.
Why do I need professional indemnity insurance?
Insurance isn't a legal requirement of running a business, but it's much like working with a contract. If you don't have it you're leaving yourself and your business in a vulnerable position should something go wrong. After all, we're all prone to human error or sometimes our client relationships break down. Delivering work late, making a mistake or not meeting client expectations. All of these are covered under your professional indemnity policy.
What will it cover?
Here are just some of the scenarios professional indemnity insurance may cover graphic designers against:
- Breach of contract
- Mistakes in your work
- Intellectual copyright infringement
- Unpaid invoices (if your relationship with a client breaks down, the client may refuse to pay any or all of your fees)
How much does it cost?
Now you understand what business insurance is and why you should have it, you're probably wondering how much it costs. With Jack can arrange £1,000,000 of professional indemnity insurance for graphic designers from £168 per year. That's £14 per month to be a professionally insured freelancer, win the trust of your clients and protect your business against a host of scenarios. We can also arrange other types of insurance to give you the tailored package you need.
Can you provide a real scenario of a designer needing insurance?
This is a real example of when a graphic designer got in a bind and needed their insurer to step in.
One thing graphic designers have to be mindful of is copyright infringement. It's the biggest cause of claims against them. This is what happened to Shepard Fairey, an artist and graphic designer.
Fairey used a photo of Barack Obama in his work. He modified his artwork enough that it didn't look similar to the original photograph and turned it into a poster and stickers.
The image gained popularity around the world. You may have seen it—the iconic Obama 'Hope' poster. As more people saw the artwork, the photographer of the original photo recognised his image was being used without a license or permission.
A bunch of legal issues arose and Fairey was fined upwards of £15,000. In this instance, he could have involved his insurer who would potentially pay the compensation as well as cover any legal costs incurred in defending himself.
There are many similar stories in this vein. Some involve late delivery of a project, unpaid invoices or failing to meet client expectations. Insurance can solve many of these problems.
Any freelancer providing a service to clients should consider having professional indemnity insurance. Not all clients are dream clients. A troublesome client can spiral out of control, and the red flags you ignored during a project can become a problem. Insurance exists for these reasons.
If you're unsure what insurance you need, use our handy 'What Insurance?' tool as a guide.
Be a trusted and insured professional
Insurance exists as protection against mistakes you make in your work and complaints or criticism from clients. It doesn't matter how good you are, these things happen.
As a graphic designer your reputation is everything. Being an insured professional shows clients you’re serious and ensures there’s minimal disruption to your work if there’s an accident or mistake.
Although insurance premiums vary, the professional indemnity policy we arrange costs £14 per month for £1,000,000 of cover. Every graphic designer should be insured. And it's tax deductible.
We asked ourselves one important question …
What do we want out of an insurance provider?
With Jack is the answer