Web developers don't just have the technical element of business to deal with. There's writing a solid project spec so you and your client are on the same page with what features will be delivered, handling payment issues and dealing with contract disputes. This is why web developers should be insured.
For example, did you know that the biggest cause of claims against freelance web developers is due to technical mistakes in their code? Whilst bugs are an inevitable part of software engineering, if it leads to a loss for the client they can look to recover that loss from you. Then there are project management issues. Making sure your client knows exactly what work to expect and delivering work on time is part of the job description. If compensation has to be paid to put nasty situations to bed your insurance may be able to assist.
Why do web developers need professional indemnity insurance?
Not all projects will run smoothly and not everybody you work with will be a dream client. Insurance is designed to help freelancers navigate problem clients and difficult projects if they lead to either a threat of legal action or a client trying to recover damages from you.
What will insurance for web developers cover?
Here are just some of the features of the professional indemnity policy that web developers could find useful:Breach of contract
A lot of developers mistakenly assume they don't need insurance if they have a contract, but what happens if you accidentally breach the terms of your contract? If your client complains work wasn't completed or delivered to spec they can make an argument that you've breached your contract.Mistakes in your work
Considering technical issues with code is one of the most common causes of claims against developers, the negligence clause in your professional indemnity policy could come in handy. Bugs are an inevitable part of software development, but a mistake in your work (or a client perceiving you to have made a mistake) can lead to a client suffering financially.Intellectual property arguments
The intellectual property infringement clause can settle disputes around ownership of the code. Cover also extends to misappropriation of ideas under implied contract and unfair competition.Mitigation costs (unpaid invoices)
If your relationship with a client breaks down or they feel you haven't delivered work to spec, the client may refuse to pay any or all of your fees. The mitigation costs clause means that if your refuses to pay your invoice and accompanies that refusal with a threat, the insurer will pay you the money owed to you if they believe it will avoid a claim for a greater amount.
How much does insurance for web developers cost?
By now you should have a better understanding of how insurance can help you with common risks like contract disputes or IP argumgents, but how much is it going to cost? With Jack can arrange £1,000,000 of professional indemnity insurance for web developers from £14 per month if your turnover is below £250,000. This removes the pain of sourcing the right lawyer should you find yourself in a legal situation, and removes the need to pay expensive, upfront fees. And it's tax deductible!
Can you provide a real scenario of a developer needing insurance?
One of the best pieces of advice we can give to freelance web developers is to write a solid statement of work. This ensures the client can't shift the goalposts throughout the project and means they know exactly what to expect. Unfortunately a lot of the claims we see at With Jack involve scope creep.
A web developer was hired to build an application for a client. After demoing the completed app, the client queried why it was missing functionality. The developer explained they'd built it to spec. Whilst they could build the extra functionality the budget would need to be revised to accommodate the additional work.
The client reacted angrily to this (this is why it's useful having written terms and a project spec. You can simply refer back to it to show what was agreed to in black and white). They accused the developer of not completing the work that was expected and refused to pay the invoice. What triggered the web developer's insurance was the threat to involve solicitors.
The insurer appointed legal experts to negotiate with the client with the aim of harmoniously ending the project and getting the devleoper's invoice paid. When it became clear the client wasn't going to be reasonable, the insurer covered the developer's invoice under the mitigation costs clause on the basis the client wouldn't pursue anything further and would consider the project finished.
Be a trusted and insured professional
Web developers have a lot of responsibility and have a duty of care to clients. You're responsible for delivering work on time and to a high standard. You're responsible for working with your client to achieve their goals.
Being insured not only puts you in a better position to fix a wrong, but it gives clients confidence that they’re working with a professional.
We’ve talked about what features insurance has that can help you, real stories from freelancers that have had to use their insurance and how much it costs. It's now over to you to take the next step and get a quote.
We asked ourselves one important question…
What do we want out of an insurance provider?
With Jack is the answer