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I am about to go freelance and I know there are a few freelancers on the forum so I'd welcome recommendations/experiences relating to Professional Indemnity Insurance. Are there companies (brokers or providers) that specifically cater for GIS and would you recommend them? I am based in the UK - so, while all replies are welcome, I am particularly looking for responses from UK freelancers.

Following Mapperz comments, to be clear: This question is about insurance for GIS professionals and NOT GIS for insurance analysis. I am looking for information on companies who PROVIDE professional indemnity insurance to freelancers rather than work opportunities. I am also interested in knowing the sort of level of cover people have and whether the level of cover has ever been an issue when tendering for work.

Thanks.

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open ended question - maybe a community wiki? –  Mapperz Apr 2 '12 at 13:36
    
Experian use GIS and contract/tender work out to freelancers for quick turn around. see publicsector.experian.co.uk/Products/Goad.aspx –  Mapperz Apr 2 '12 at 13:38
    
Hi, thanks for the tip although I was really looking for companies who provide insurance to freelancers rather than work opportunities. I'll edit my question to make this clearer. –  MappaGnosis Apr 2 '12 at 13:53
    
Where are these freelancers? I would like to work with one :) –  J G May 24 '12 at 22:49
    
@JG Excellent! Contact me privately :) –  MappaGnosis May 25 '12 at 9:01
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3 Answers

up vote 7 down vote accepted

The US has a reputation for being more litigious, so I'd expect insurance to cost less else-where. Here's what I pay in Texas:

Insurer Quoted: ACE; AM Best Rating of A+ (Superior); Size XV

Coverage Amount - $ 1,000,000 Per Occurrence

$ 1,000,000 Annual Aggregate

$ 2,500 Deductible

$850.00 Annual Premium

·         Negligent acts, errors or omissions in the delivery of IT services
·         Failure to prevent denial of service, unauthorized access or use, introduction of malicious code 
·         Duty to defend against all actions brought against you which are, judging by the allegations, potentially within coverage of the policy
·         First Dollar Defense (Deductible does not apply to defense costs)
·         Extends your professional services coverage to individual independent contractors (1099s) working under contract on your behalf
·         Failure of the technology services to perform as intended
·         Staffing liability included for IT recruiting and placement services
·         Failure to prevent identity theft or disclosure of personally identifiable information stored in electronic format on your servers
·         Innocent insured provision - coverage in the event of intentional wrongful acts of employees as long as management was not aware or involved
·         Media Liability - Liability associated with content copyright, trademark infringement, invasion or interference with right to privacy for online media and online publishing services
·         Does NOT include intellectual property liability coverage. (Ask your representative for more information)
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That's interesting. The few quotes I've seen in the UK are indeed lower. Is your insurance generic or is it specific in some way to freelancing and/or GIS? –  MappaGnosis Apr 3 '12 at 16:04
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Actually, as I recall about 5 few years ago I made the mistake of opening my mouth about spatial data. My comment put me more into the realm of a surveyor which had even more liabilities, I suppose related to property disputes. Since then I've learned to keep my mouth shut. –  Kirk Kuykendall Apr 3 '12 at 16:11
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I know the post is old, but as the originator I feel it's legitimate to bump it in order to provide a somewhat belated follow-up for the benefit of anybody else going down the freelance route who might find this post in a search. This will be mostly of use to UK people.

After getting confused in the realms of insurance, company tax and much else besides I joined the Federation for Small Businesses because the support and advice that the FSB provides is astonishing, including comprehensive legal cover and advice on dealing with HMRC (I think the equivalent organisation in the USA is the IRS and I believe HMRC is equally cuddly). They even provide free business banking and competitive telephone/broadband. As well as a ton of other services, the FSB also offers insurance brokerage. So, I put myself in their hands and have secured cover for £500,000 per occurrence at a premium of approximately £290 per annum.

If you are going freelance in the UK I would strongly recommend joining the FSB!

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How are you getting on with your hunt for professional indemnity insurance?

I work for a specialist professional indemnity broker called PolicyBee. Here's a blog piece we wrote about going freelance which you might find helpful: http://www.policybee.co.uk/blog/2444/im-a-freelancer-what-insurance-do-i-need

You can read more about us on our website www.policybee.co.uk

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#Vicky: Thanks for your response, but please note my comments to everybody. #Everybody: As the initiator of this thread, I apologise to the forum if this answer breaches etiquette by hijacking the thread for advertising. –  MappaGnosis Apr 3 '12 at 11:07
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Hi Sylvester - completely understand. Apologies if my response was seen as advertising. Genuinely wasn't meant to be. Professional indemnity is a complicated subject and probably too long to discuss with any real usefulness here. It seemed easier to point you to a worthwhile resource instead - and some contact details in case you wanted further assistance. #Everybody Sorry if this was seen as advertising. –  Vicky Pont Apr 3 '12 at 13:05
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