The computer programming industry consists of computer programmers, software developers and website designers, all of whom primarily write, modify, test and support software according to the needs or requests of their clients.
Whether you are a large-scale custom software developer or an independent website developer, your business is exposed to numerous risks every single day when you interact with clients and the general public.
You need tailored business insurance solutions to protect your business from the financial fallout of an accident, a fire or a lawsuit — which could destroy your business overnight.
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Businesses in the computer programming industry may face the following risks:
- Unhappy or dissatisfied customers
- Trademark or copyright infringement
- Property damage caused by you or your employees
- Workplace accidents and injuries
- Theft or vandalism
- Weather events, fires and other property damage
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Computer Programmer and Software Developer Insurance
Whatever unique services you specialize in as a computer programmer, you need business insurance to protect you from risks that you are exposed to in your day-to-day business operations.
Talk to your independent insurance agent about your need for the following types of computer programmer insurance or software developer insurance.
Commercial general liability (CGL) insurance for computer programmers and software developers offers broad protection from third-party bodily injury and property damage claims. Let’s say a client claims that your employee damaged several computers while working on site.
The client could make a claim for damages, and your CGL policy would pay. Likewise, if a client, vendor or delivery person slipped and fell at your office, your CGL policy would pay for any medical expenses or related costs if a claim were filed against your business.
You could be sued in both of these cases, and for many other reasons. Even if the suit is unfounded, you have to defend yourself. Attorney fees, court costs, and court-ordered settlements or judgments can be devastating to any business owner.
A computer programmer general liability policy protects you in these circumstances and pays for costs related to such lawsuits, up to the limits of your policy.
A computer programmer general liability policy also protects you from certain intellectual property claims related to images, code or other copyrighted material. It pays for claims related to copyright infringement, advertising liability, slander and libel.
Whether you own your building, lease your office space or use a home office, you need some type of protection for your business property. Commercial property insurance covers damage to a building and its contents (computers, office equipment and furniture, supplies, fixtures, etc.) damaged by a weather event, fire, theft, vandalism and other causes of loss.
Most business property policies also offer coverage for business interruption, which helps you pay for ongoing expenses if you must temporarily close or relocate due to a covered property loss (e.g., a fire).
Certain small businesses are eligible for a business owners policy, or BOP. A BOP is a packaged policy that combines general liability, property and business interruption coverage at an affordable price.
Your independent insurance agent can help you determine if you can save money on your computer programmer insurance or software developer insurance by purchasing a business owners policy.
Professional Liability Coverage
Professional liability insurance, or errors and omissions (E&O) coverage, protects computer programmers and software developers when they make a professional mistake that financially harms a customer.
Your customers expect a certain level of expertise from you, and if you fail to deliver or are somehow negligent, you will very likely be sued for damages. Consider the following errors or mistakes, and the potential harm to a client:
- Failing to complete a project on time
- Making coding errors, thus causing a glitch that creates downtime and lost revenue for client
- Making system design errors
- Causing glitches that expose a client’s system to hackers or causing any error that leads to security vulnerabilities
- Writing programs or applications that don't meet client’s specifications
Because errors and omissions insurance covers claims that are not covered by your general liability policy, it is essential protection that no programmer or developer should go without. Even if a negligence claim against you is unfounded, you still have to defend yourself if you are sued.
If you don’t have the right computer programmer or software developer professional liability insurance, your personal assets could be at risk. Your professional liability policy pays for your legal defense, including attorney fees, court costs, and any settlements or judgments that you must pay.
Web Developers Insurance
Website developers have business insurance needs similar to the needs of computer programmers and software developers. Whether you are an independent web developer, a growing startup or a large firm with multiple locations, you need to protect your assets from the exposures inherent in your business.
Your comprehensive web developer insurance portfolio should include the following:
- Commercial general liability insurance
- Commercial property insurance
- Business interruption coverage
- Professional liability insurance
- Employment practices liability insurance
- Workers’ compensation insurance
- Cyber liability insurance
Special endorsements can be added to all of these policies to fit the unique needs of your business.
Is Your Home Office Equipment Covered When You Work from Home?
If you work out of your home full time or even just some of the time, you may be uninsured or underinsured if you think you have coverage under your homeowners insurance policy.
A typical homeowners insurance policy limits coverage for office equipment to around $2,500 — not nearly enough to replace a computer, printer, phones, desk, fax, scanner or other equipment you need for programming or web design.
And your homeowners policy does not cover business liability, loss or damage of business records, and damage caused by business interruption.
If you have a home office, you have several options in order to make sure you have appropriate coverage:
- Endorsement to your homeowners insurance policy: Computer programmers, software developers and website developers can add an endorsement to a homeowners insurance policy that provides more coverage for the home-based business or home office. This option is viable for one-person businesses without a lot of valuable equipment or business-related visitors. The endorsement typically adds about $2,500 in business equipment coverage as well as some additional liability protection at an affordable price.
- In-home business/home office insurance: Some insurance companies offer a specialty policy for in-home businesses or home offices. The in-home business policy includes certain features of business insurance policies designed for larger firms but sometimes much lower policy limits. A typical in-home business policy provides $10,000 of business property coverage and a liability coverage limit typically between $300,000 and $1 million. It may also provide limited coverage for loss of valuable documents, accounts receivable, off-site business property and use of equipment.
- Business owners policy: A BOP as described above is often recommended for home-based business owners who need more than $10,000 of business property coverage as well as liability coverage for customer injuries and business interruption coverage.
Other Coverage to Consider
Computer programmers, software developers and website designers need to work closely with an independent insurance agent to assess their risks and determine their need for certain types of coverage. In addition to the policies described above, you will likely need to consider the following:
- Workers’ compensation insurance is required for most businesses that have employees. It protects your employees from the costs of work-related illnesses and injuries by paying for medical expenses and lost wages. Repetitive motion injuries, such as carpal tunnel syndrome, are common among software developers and programmers. Workers’ compensation insurance helps them get the care they need to recover and return to work.
- Employment practices liability insurance protects you if an employee sues you for discriminatory employment practices.
- Inland marine insurance protects computers, equipment and tools that you transport off-site for use at a client’s location. Once your business property leaves your office, it is not covered by your business property policy. Inland marine insurance covers that equipment if it is stolen or damaged while it is in transit or while it is stored in another location.
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Computer Programmer Insurance is Just a Click Away
It is easy to get quotes for a computer programmer, software developer or website designer insurance from a local insurance agent. An independent agent can obtain fast quotes from highly rated insurance companies who can write policies that are tailored to your specific needs.
You can compare quotes and purchase all of the coverage you need from one agent even if you choose policies from multiple insurance companies. Your independent agent can also provide professional advice and consultation on other ways to minimize the risks to your business.
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