4 Horror Stories About Creative Businesses That Wished They Had Insurance

A collection of true stories when designers, developers and creatives would have benefited from having business insurance.

21Mar'17

Let's get real. I'm going to share true stories of designers, developers and creatives getting into difficulty with their work. These situations are precisely what business insurance is designed for.

This stuff isn't fun to talk about, therefore it's ignored or overlooked. But if we don't talk about it, freelancers won't insure their livelihood and will be leaving themselves vulnerable. Much in the same way the people in these stories did.

This is why With Jack exists—to make insurance accessible to sole traders, freelancers and creatives who want to get on with making stuff.

Negligence

Ellie, a developer, was starting her career when she was hired to build an eCommerce site. She did everything right; having her client sign a contract and delivering the work on time.

The client wasn't happy with the site and claimed it didn't work as they had outlined. They sued Ellie in small claims court and were awarded damages.

If only the developer had professional indemnity insurance. This would pay compensation to the client, as well as the legal fees involved in the defence of a claim. In fact, the team of legal experts the insurer would have appointed could have prevented it from reaching court.

There are many stories in this vein. A graphic designer, Leon, faced legal action because their client was unhappy with the quality of work they provided.

Leon's job was to create banners for a trade show. The images for the banners were supplied by the client, but they didn't translate well to print and the client held the designer responsible.

Their reason for claiming damages was "poor quality of work" and the job not being completed to spec.

Late Delivery

Joel was contracted to design a website. For various reasons, the project took longer to complete than agreed.

The client refused to pay Joel's invoice, citing the reason as "lost confidence in the work being completed". This came as a shock to Joel—the client had seemed understanding of the delays.

Joel received a letter from the client's legal team suing for loss of business. Fortunately, Joel had professional indemnity insurance.

Your insurer will appoint lawyers, experts and other representatives to defend you if necessary. In this case, a lawyer was appointed by the insurer and Joel provided a timeline of evidence.

The insurer supported Joel's right to invoice for the work completed.

Because the cost of the claim was greater than the invoice owed, the insurer paid the amount owed to the designer instead of pursuing legal action.

This is a common scenario. A gradual breakdown in client relationship can lead to unpaid fees. If you have professional indemnity insurance, your insurer can pay any or all of your fees.

Copyright Infringement and Intellectual Property

Copyright infringement is the biggest cause of claims against designers. But it's not just designers that are victim to these types of claims.

A software business was sued for copyright infringement and breach of contract due to unlicensed-font-usage.

They used a licensed typeface in a Tumblr theme. The theme was made available to the public, but this wasn't permitted by the license.

The scope of copyright infringement claims is wide. There could be cause for a claim if any copyrighted materials are used in a website, or if your logo design resembles a copyrighted logo.

And Many More…

Professional indemnity insurance covers a broad range of claims. If your work doesn’t meet client expectations, is delivered late or fails, a client could bring a claim against you.

Business insurance covers compensation to the client as well as legal expenses to defend yourself. For as little as £14 per month, any of the above businesses could have involved their insurer to help them resolve matters.

Unsure what type of insurance you need? Use our tool to help you make an informed decision based on your work activities.

We asked ourselves one important question …

What do we want out of an insurance provider?

With Jack is the answer