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My Favourite Policy Features: Data Reconstitution

The data recovery clause is one of my favourite policy features. It's helpful for all freelancers who store important data, but especially photographers and videographers whose SD cards or hard drives suffer accidental damage that causes client work to become lost or corrupt.

29Jul'21

In this blog post I want to highlight one of my favourite policy features—the reconstitution of electronic data clause. We'll look at how our customers use this feature and hear from a With Jack customer that recently had to make a data recovery claim.

What is the reconstitution of electronic data clause?

This feature is included in your contents policy and means the insurer will cover the cost of reconstituting the data from an insured piece of equipment where the data has become lost or distorted as a result of accidental damage.

A common example would be a hard drive or SD card that's taken a knock and is now having trouble reading the data. We've had a few of these claims over the years—mostly for photographers or videographers who have just shot client footage or with devices that store photos and video.

As an ex-photographer this was always the part of my job that gave me the biggest fear. The thought of losing wedding photos because of a corrupt CF card is unthinkable—especially during a part of the day like the ceremony.

I know I'm not alone with this anxiety. A With Jack customer that recently used the data reconstitution service echoed this fear, "I’ve always placed such importance on making sure this didn’t happen. Bad timing and luck put paid to this, and it can happen to anyone!".

Back-ups are important but not always possible

It's important for any freelancer to have good processes in place for backing up data (weekly back-ups is one of the requirements of the policy if you use the data recovery service) but sometimes you haven't had the opportunity.

For example, if your CF or SD card becomes corrupt whilst on location there isn't much you can do. In the case of our customer mentioned above, they were moving photos from one location to another when their kid knocked over the hard drive by accident. Whatever the circumstances it's a sinking feeling of helplessness.

"I felt sick. The drive had tons of work on it, all of which had been delivered to clients, but I always like to have back-ups in case they ever need me. There was also a lot of personal family photography on there too. Not the best feeling ever!"

This is one of the reasons it's important to have your business equipment insured on a business contents policy. Home insurance policies don't have the same features and likely wouldn't assist with the cost of recovering your data. And this data recovery process can get expensive!

"I didn’t think of my insurance policy as being able to help. However, after making some enquiries and seeing how much cost was involved, I started to explore options for help. It helps having a great relationship with my insurer, and with the personal touch that With Jack provide I soon began to feel a little hope and see light at the end of the tunnel."

Our average claim for data reconstitution is between £4000-£5000 and the outcome isn't always successful. It's a lot of money to spend with no guarantee that the data can be recovered. This brings me onto my final point…

Professional indemnity and contents insurance is a good partner

If the data reconstitution is successful, you can potentially avoid a claim being brought against you for a greater amount. Equipment failing and leading to lost or corrupted data is bad enough, but having that conversation with your client takes a stressful situation to another level.

If clients aren't receiving the deliverables they paid for, it's not uncommon for them to look to recover compensation from you. This is where your professional indemnity insurance would kick in.

Fortunately our friend had a happy outcome and his contents policy was able to assist. "The repair and retrieval cost was a lot of money, nearly £900. I was really lucky. I got all my data and work back on a new external HDD."

Given how important client assets are for freelancers, and how expensive it can be to recover lost or corrupt data, this makes the reconstitution of electronic data one of my favourite policy features.

Want to find out about my other favourite policy features? Watch this video.

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