IT Consultant Insurance Policy Information
IT Consultant Insurance. IT consultants, computer consultants, and other similar professionals design and plan computer systems, software, and other types of technology, but they often fail to plan for the potential liabilities and risks that they face in their professional lives. Oftentimes, it is the job of these professionals to recommend or purchase items on a client's behalf, install systems, or even train the end users of computer systems. Each of these activities can leave the IT consultant open to liability and financial stress. First, you must know what your risks are - as not all of your risks as a information technology consultant can be covered simply by buying a basic IT consultant insurance policy.
IT consultant insurance protects your shop from lawsuits with rates as low as $27/mo. Get a fast quote and your certificate of insurance now.
Below are some answers to commonly asked internet technology consultant insurance questions:
- How Much Does IT Consultant Insurance Cost?
- Why Do IT Consultants Need Insurance?
- What Type Of Insurance Do IT Consultants Need?
How Much Does IT Consultant Insurance Cost?
The average price of a standard $1,000,000/$2,000,000 General Liability Insurance policy for small IT consultants ranges from $27 to $39 per month based on location, size, payroll, sales and experience.
Why Do IT Consultants Need Insurance?
Commonly, computer consultants and IT consultants perform a variety of tasks, including:
- Design consulting
- Computer systems integration tasks
- Integration and design of information management systems
- Local area network system implementation
- Design and integration of office automation systems
These consultants face a plethora of different business risks, just as any business faces. Consultants need IT consultant insurance to reduce the risks and protect themselves and their businesses from potential fallout should a problem arise with a client.
What Type Of Insurance Do IT Consultants Need?
IT consultant insurance protects the business from the exposed risks that crop up in the everyday operation of your business.
Errors and Omissions Insurance for IT Consultants
As an IT consultant, you know that your clients expect you to perform at a level of expertise that is standard in the industry.
The client can end up suing you for non-delivery of services rendered or promised and for negligence arising from any advice that you give them. Some potential errors and omissions claims often arise from:
- Designing a network with serious deficiencies instead of the promised network
- Performing backup that leads to data loss for the client
- The design of a network that is vulnerable to an attack by a virus or a hack by criminals
- Failure to complete a project as established by a contract
- Exceeding the time length provided for the project or going outside the project's budget
This type of insurance offers broad protection for the business from any claims of damage to from third parties, including both property damage and bodily injury claims. For example, if an employee causes damage to a customer's computer system while providing services at a client's place of business, he subjects himself to claims of damages that result. In this instance, the commercial general liability policy kicks in and pays.
Similarly, if a delivery person, vendor, or a client falls on the premises, then your policy will pay for any related costs and medical expenses if a claim results from the event.
Your perils as an IT consultant are not limited to these instances; there are many more. Even when a claim is unsubstantiated against you, you still need to provide a defense in court when a claim is lodged. Court costs, attorney fees, and any judgments against you can devastate your business' finances. With a policy in place, the computer consultant can rely on his insurance policy to protect them and pay any expenses related to any lawsuits that are filed, up to your policy limits.
This type of IT consultant insurance policy can also provide a buffer of protection against any copyright infringement claims, libel claims, slander accusations and similar occurrences.
Insurance is important whether you lease your business space, own the building, or work from home. Protection is vital, since it protects the business not only from liable claims, but also for damage to your building and the contents of the building, including any office equipment, fixtures, supplies, and computers. Whether the damage results from weather, fire, vandalism, theft, or other covered causes, your insurance is your protection from financial ruin.<.p>
Most policies for IT consultants also provide for coverage of costs when your business operations are interrupted. For example, if your building burns down, then you may be covered for relocation expenses while you find a new place to operate.
Business Owners Policy
Also know as a BOP, is a type of policy that is idea for certain small businesses. A BOP insurance policy for IT consultants combines several types of valuable coverage into one policy, including general liability coverage, business interruption coverage, and property coverage, usually at a price that is affordable for the business' budget. An independent agent can help you find the right level of coverage for your business needs and make sure that you are fully protected from financial stress if the unexpected happens.
If you have employees and they get hurt on the job, workers comp pays to help them heal. It as also required in most states by law, and to get contracts with larger firms you might do work for.
Cyber Liability Insurance
Any business doing computer work in cyber space should consider data breach insurance. This type of insurance pays for data loss, cyber hacks, breaches of information, and computer viruses, should a client file a claim against you and allege that the system that you provided to them is at fault.
Even if you are not held ultimately responsible for the losses experienced by your customers, you should be able to provide a defense for yourself. This type of IT consultant insurance policy pays for the cost of litigation and other types of expenses if you face a liability in a cyber lawsuit.
Internet technology Consultant's Risks & Exposures
Premises liability exposure is minimal since most client contact is done electronically or by mail. Off-premises exposures arise from sales visits, training sessions, and installation of software or hardware at the customer's premises. There should be policies and training regarding acceptable off-premises behavior.
If the consultant works on the client's computer, the client's property could be damaged, either the actual hardware or by corrupting code on the existing software. Personal injury exposures arise from breach of confidentiality as employees dealing with clients have access to their records.
Professional liability and errors and omissions exposures are extensive but vary by the type of software and its intended use. If the customized software is essential to the business's operation or used to provide safety services, the errors and omission exposure will be higher as there may be long-term consequences.
Workers compensation exposure is limited to that of an office, although there may be significant off-site work. As work is done on computers, potential injuries include eyestrain, neck strain, carpal tunnel syndrome, and similar cumulative trauma injuries that can be addressed through ergonomically designed workstations. Back sprains and strains can result from lifting and other material handling if there is any moving of computers or related equipment.
Property exposures consist of an office operation, as well as any incidental storage and areas for service work on computers. Ignition sources include extensive electrical wiring to support computers and servers, heating and air conditioning systems, wear, and overheating of equipment. Fire, smoke, and water can cause significant damage to equipment. Fire protection should consist of chemical applications instead of water.
Although computer equipment can be included as part of the business personal property coverage, more complete protection is available under a computer or EDP policy. A detailed emergency plan should be in place since downtime is not an option. Extra expense coverage is needed more than business income due to contract deadline dates and should be purchased as a part of the EDP policy. The concentration of electronic equipment may be targeted by thieves. Appropriate security controls should be taken including physical barriers to prevent access to the premises after hours and an alarm system that reports directly to a central station or the police department.
Equipment breakdown exposures are typically moderate. Climate control is essential to proper computer function, and breakdown of the air-conditioning units may cause serious loss. There is also significant potential for direct or indirect loss due to computer breakdown or damage by power surges and power failure, affecting hardware, data, and media. Coverage may be addressed under either an EDP or equipment breakdown policy.
Crime exposure is from employee dishonesty and computer fraud. Developers may have access to private financial information of their clients, especially for billing purposes, and represent a target item for identity theft. Hazards increase in the absence of proper background checks and monitoring of the insured's workers who may have such access.
Inland marine exposure includes accounts receivable if the programmer offers credit, computers, and valuable papers and records for customers' information. A computer or EDP policy is critical since it covers hardware, software, and media. There should be frequent backup and off-site data storage. Typically the consultant works at the client's premises, presenting transit and off-premises exposures.
There is a high risk of theft, both of portable hardware such as laptops and handhelds and of the software programs. Extra expense is an important option to purchase because of the need to quickly return to operation after a loss and meet contractual obligations. Information used to document the programming is not software and must be insured as valuable papers or its digital equivalent. All contracts, documentation, software design, copyrights, and patents, on paper, disks or other media, should be duplicated and the duplicates should be kept off site.
Business auto exposure may be limited to hired and non-owned. There will likely be extensive off-premises work by sales representatives, programmers, and technicians. The consultant may have a fleet of private passenger vehicles, require that employees use their own vehicles, or may use rental vehicles. If vehicles are provided to employees, there should be written procedures in place regarding personal use by employees and their family members. All drivers must have appropriate licenses and acceptable MVRs. Vehicles must be maintained and records kept in a central location.
Commercial Insurance And Business Industry Classification
- SIC CODE: Description for 7379: Computer Related Services, Not Elsewhere Classified
- NAICS CODE: 541511 - Custom Computer Programming Services
- Suggested ISO General Liability Code(s): 96930
- Suggested Workers Compensation Code(s): 8803, 8810
Description for Description for 7379: Computer Related Services, Not Elsewhere Classified
Division I: Services | Major Group 73: Business Services | Industry Group 737: Computer Programming, Data Processing, And Other Computer Related Services
7379 Computer Related Services, Not Elsewhere Classified: Establishments primarily engaged in supplying computer related services, not elsewhere classified. Computer consultants operating on a contract or fee basis are classified in this industry. Establishments primarily engaged in producing prepackaged software are classified in Industry 7372; and those engaged in offering data processing courses or training in computer programming and in computer and computer peripheral equipment operation, repair, and maintenance are classified in Industry 8243.
- Computer consultants
- Data base developers
- Data processing consultants
- Disk and diskette conversion services
- Disk and diskette recertification services
- Requirements analysis, computer hardware
- Tape recertification service
IT Consultant Insurance - The Bottom Line
No matter whether you work as a freelancer providing IT consulting services or you are working as part of a larger organization, finding the right level of coverage is important. Discuss your particular needs with an independent agent to get the coverage you need.
Types Of Small Business Insurance - Requirements & Regulations
Perhaps you have the next great idea for a product or service that you know will appeal to your local area. If you've got a business, you've got risks. Unexpected events and lawsuits can wipe out a business quickly, wasting all the time and money you've invested.
Operating a business is challenging enough without having to worry about suffering a significant financial loss due to unforeseen and unplanned circumstances. Small business insurance can protect your company from some of the more common losses experienced by business owners, such as property damage, business interruption, theft, liability, and employee injury.
Purchasing the appropriate commercial insurance coverage can make the difference between going out of business after a loss or recovering with minimal business interruption and financial impairment to your company's operations.
Insurance is so important to proper business function that both federal governments and state governments require companies to carry certain types. Thus, being properly insured also helps you protect your company by protecting it from government fines and penalties.
Small Business Insurance Information
In the business world, there are many risks faced by company's every day. The best way that business owners can protect themselves from these perils is by carrying the right insurance coverage.
The The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) is the U.S. standard-setting and regulatory support organization. Through the NAIC, state insurance regulators establish standards and best practices, conduct peer review, and coordinate their regulatory oversight.
Commercial insurance is particularly important for small business owners, as they stand to lose a lot more. Should a situation arise - a lawsuit, property damage, theft, etc. - small business owners could end up facing serious financial turmoil.
According to the SBA, having the right insurance plan in place can help you avoid major pitfalls. Your business insurance should offer coverage for all of your assets. It should also include liability and casual coverage.
Types Of Small Business Insurance
Choosing the right type of coverage is absolutely vital. You've got plenty of options. Some you'll need. Some you won't. You should know what's available. Once you look over your options you'll need to conduct a thorough risk assessment. As you evaluate each type of insurance, ask yourself:
- What type of business am I running?
- What are common risks associated with this industry?
- Does this type of insurance cover a situation that could feasibly arise during the normal course of doing business?
- Does my state require me to carry this type of insurance?
- Does my lender or do any of my investors require me to carry this type of policy?
A licensed insurance agent or broker in your state can help you determine what kinds of coverages are prudent for your business types. If you find one licensed to sell multiple policies from multiple companies (independent agents) that person can often help you get the best insurance rates, too. Following is some information on some of the most common small business insurance policies:
|Business Insurance Policy Type||What Is Covered?|
|General Liability Insurance||What is covered under commercial general liability insurance? It steps in to pay claims when you lose a lawsuit with an injured customer, employee, or vendor. The injury could be physical, or it could be a financial loss based on advertising practices.|
|Workers Compensation Insurance||What is covered under workers compensation insurance? This type of insurance protects a business and its owner(s) from claims by employees who suffer a work-related injury, illness or disease. Workers comp typically provides the injured employee with benefits to cover medical expenses, a portion of his/her lost wages, rehabilitation costs if applicable, and permanent partial or permanent total disability.|
|Product Liability Insurance||What is covered under product liability insurance? I pays an injured party's settlement or lawsuit claim arising from a defective product. These are usually caused by design defects, manufacturing defects, or a failure to provide adequate warning or instructions as to how to safely use the product.|
|Commercial Property Insurance||What is covered under business property insurance? General liability policies don't cover damages to your business property. That's what commercial property insurance is for. It protects all of the physical parts of your business: your building, your inventory, and your equipment, giving you the funds you need to replace them in the event of a disaster. If you work from home, you might consider a Home Based Business Insurance policy instead.|
|Business Owners Policy (BOP)||What is covered under a business owners policy (BOP)? This is a policy designed for small, low-risk businesses. It simplifies the basic insurance purchase process by combining general liability policies with business income and commercial property insurance.|
|Commercial Auto Insurance||What is covered under business auto insurance? This type of insurance covers automobiles being used for business purposes. This could include a fleet of business-only vehicles or a single company car. In some cases it might cover your car or your employee's car while they're being used for business. These policies have much higher limits, ensuring you can cover your costs if one of these vehicles gets into an accident.|
|Commercial Umbrella Policies||What is covered under commercial umbrella insurance? This type of policy is a sort of "gap" insurance. It covers your liability in the event that a court verdict or settlement exceeds your general liability policy limits.|
|Liquor Liability Insurance||What is covered under liquor liability insurance? It covers bodily injury or property damage caused by an intoxicated person who was served liquor by the policy holder.|
|Professional Liability (Errors & Omissions)||What is covered under professional liability insurance? This type of business insurance is also known as malpractice oe E&O. It covers the damages that can arise from major mistakes, especially in high-stakes professions where mistakes can be devastating.|
|Surety Bond||What is covered under surety bonds? Bonding is a contract where one party, the SURETY (who assures the obligee that the principal can perform the task), guarantees the performance of certain obligations of a second party, the PRINCIPAL (the contractor or business who will perform the contractual obligation), to a third party, the OBLIGEE (the project owner who is the recipient of an obligation).|
Who Needs General Liability Insurance? - Virtually every business. A single lawsuit or settlement could bankrupt your business five times over. You might also need this policy to win business. Many companies and government agencies won't do business with your company until you can produce proof that you've obtained one of these policies.
Business Insurance Required by Law
If you have any employees most states will require you to carry worker's compensation and unemployment insurance. Some states require you to insure yourself even if you are the only employee working in the business.
Your insurance agent can help you check applicable state laws so you can bring your business into compliance.
Other Types Of Small Business Insurance
There are dozens of other, more specialized forms of small business insurance capable of covering specific problems and risks. These forms of insurance include:
- Business Interruption Insurance
- Commercial Flood Insurance
- Contractor's Insurance
- Cyber Liability
- Data Breach
- Directors and Officers
- Employment Practices Liability
- Environmental or Pollution Liability
- Management Liability
- Sexual Misconduct Liability
Whether you need any or all of these policies will depend on the results of your risk assessment. For example, you probably don't need an environmental or pollution policy if you're running an IT company out of a leased office, but you would need data breach and cyber liability policies to fully protect your business.
Additional Resources For Information Technology & Internet Insurance
Learn about small business IT technology insurance policies that help protect IT businesses, consultants & subcontractors from the unique risks that small tech businesses face when they work.
- Application Development
- Computer Electronic Repair
- Computer Programming
- Computer System / Network Developer
- Cyber Liability
- Data Breach
- Internet Business
- IT Consultant
- Online Store
- Software Developer
- Technology Services
- Website Design
Some the more popular IT businesses do IT contracting or freelancing work. These businesses have specific risks they face, and can have huge exposures to uncommon risks. Even if the business is very careful, a small oversight or mistake can lead to a large and expensive lawsuit.
For information technology companies, like some of the more popular ones listed below, data security is paramount:
Application Development (Mobile & Web), Business Intelligence / Data Mining Businesses, Computer Installation & Repair, Computer Programming, Computer Retail Store, Data Analysts, Architects & Scientists, Database Administrators, Frontend Developers, Hosting, IT Business Consulting, IT Project Management, IT Staffing, IT Training, Information Technology Consulting, Life Sciences & R&D, Network Architects, Network Security Consultants, System & Network Design, Technical Writing and Web Site Development.
The IT business segment has a critical need for professional liability and errors and omissions coverage. If coverage applies, the insurer has several rights and duties such as providing a legal defense against claims and suits brought by parties claiming damages. The insurer is permitted to investigate all claims to determine whether they are covered by the policy and they may choose to litigate, deny or settle claims.
Most policies providing coverage for electronic data liability, computer professional liability, and computer errors and omissions are claims-made contracts.
Minimum recommended small business insurance coverage: Business Personal Property, Business Income with Extra Expense, Equipment Breakdown, Computer Fraud, Employee Dishonesty, Accounts Receivable, Computers, Valuable Papers and Records, General Liability, Employee Benefits Liability, Errors and Omissions Liability, Professional Liability, Umbrella Liability, Hired and Nonowned Auto Liability & Workers Compensation.
Other commercial insurance policies to consider: Building, Earthquake, Flood, Real Property Legal Liability, Forgery, Cyber Liability, Employment-related Practices Liability, Directors and Officers Liability, Business Auto Liability and Physical Damage and Stop Gap Liability.