As a computer programmer or IT professional, you face some of the same risks that regular brick-and-mortar businesses face. Especially if you offer consulting services, you can be in shaky legal ground. Levi Strauss & Co., the jean maker, brought charges against Deloitte IT Consulting firm after software designed to control inventory and payroll failed. The charge? $100 million plus punitive damages. While you might not be working with a large retailer, with so many businesses relying on computer systems to keep operations going smoothly, you could be the target for a lawsuit if your product doesn't meet client expectations.
Due to the nature of your work, it’s best to get a tailored business insurance policy that helps you offset your individual risks and protects your business and your clients.
Facts About Computer Programming
- The first computer programmer was Ada Lovelace.
- In 1889, Herman Hollerither developed a machine that could read data.
- The first digital computer was designed in 1937 and tested in 1942. It could solve linear equations.
- The first “computer bug” was a moth caught in the U.S. Navy's Mark II Alken Relay Calculator.
- The first high-level computer programming language was Fortran, which was commercially released in 1957.
- The first computer virus programmer was Fred Cohen, who developed a hidden program that infected computers through the use of a floppy disk.
What Is Computer Programmer Insurance?
This form of commercial insurance is specifically designed to deal with the unique risks associated with computer programming and other professional IT careers. Whether you own your company or work as a freelance information technology professional, it is important to protect your business from the risks of your trade.
To make sure that you’re getting the right computer programmer insurance, you will need to evaluate the risks and exposures you face in your line of work, including advice you provide and services that can potentially lead to your clients' loss of data or loss of revenue. If you drive from one job site to another, will your personal auto insurance cover you, or do you need a commercial vehicle policy? If you or your employees haul computer systems or equipment, is there a risk of injury or property damage?
What Does Computer Programmer Insurance Cover?
As a computer programmer and IT professional, you’re subject to different risks than other companies. The following forms of coverage help you specifically address these risks:
- Property insurance: If you’re working from home, keep in mind that your homeowners policy may cover a portion of your home office, but may or may not cover equipment. Property insurance will protect your professional equipment and the structure of your home office so you can recover more quickly in the event of a fire or other disaster.
- IT professional liability insurance: This could arguably be the most important aspect of your commercial policy. If a client is unhappy with your performance and files a claim against you, your liability insurance will cover your legal defense as well as some or all of the judgement or settlement amount.
- Cyber risk insurance: Cybercrime is one of the most serious issues that you face as an IT professional. Whether you’re being hacked or someone claims that you’re responsible for a data breach or malware attack, cyber risk insurance can help you deal with the repercussions.
Be sure to ask a knowledgeable agent about other IT consultants insurance that may be available, and how it can protect you.
The Importance of IT Professional Liability Insurance
The following are potential situations where computer programmer insurance or IT consultant insurance may be important:
- You design a database for a client, but an error prevents access to the database for over two weeks. The company claims that losing the database for that amount of time results in a large revenue loss. Your technology professional liability insurance can cover those expenses.
- If you are hired to solve a technical problem, and as you are fixing it, a hacker breaks in and retrieves company data, you could be held responsible for the resulting losses.
While purchasing an insurance policy may just seem like another expense, even a well-written contract can’t protect you during all circumstances. Computer programmer insurance can be tailored to meet your individual needs and address the client situations you encounter daily.