Whether you work as a graphic designer for a company or you’re a freelance graphic designer, what could possibly go wrong that you need to consider business insurance? When all you’re doing is just sitting in front of your powerful (and shiny!) Mac computer, surrounded by impressive screens and monitors staring back at you all day, whilst you create beautiful digital artwork…
Actually, a number of things can go wrong in that scenario.
Graphic Design and Copyright
Copyright infringement is a common concern for graphic designers. On most occasions, graphic designers aren’t even aware when they are infringing on copyrighted material. Copyright and trademark infringement can often result from something as innocent and unobvious as designing a logo that looks a lot like another trademarked logo that you didn’t even know existed. That logo you designed could get you into some serious legal difficulty, believe it or not.
You also need to acquire the correct licences for any media used throughout your graphic design project. Whether it’s a photograph or a small graphic that you’ve used in your design or on the website as supplemental graphics, you need to be able to ensure that you have the right to use it. Some new freelance graphic designers assume that “royalty-free” means “free”. When in fact it just means that, once you have purchased the license for its use, you are permitted to use the image (or whatever royalty-free product) however and as many times as you want for multiple projects. (So long as it’s in compliance with the terms of the license agreement.) Images which are not royalty-free usually mean that your right to use the image is restricted to things like duration of use or industry, etc. It all depends on the image’s individual license agreement. Though you have indeed paid to use the image, you may only be legally allowed to use the image once or only on a single property (such as a single specified website). You may even have to renew the license of use each year.
Do You Need Public Liability Insurance?
If a client was to visit your agency or your graphic design office and end up seriously hurting themselves while on your property, maybe they trip over a trailing cable or a rug, you could be held liable for the injury. You can get cover to protect you against those sorts of unfortunate situations.
Those who work from home as freelance graphic designers may initially think that they don’t need public liability insurance for graphic designers, as they never invite clients into their home for business. However, graphic designers often visit clients at their own business premises. Public liability insurance will also cover you for any damage that you may cause to the client’s property. Maybe you’re visiting your client at their office for a meeting regarding their new logo design or branding, and you accidentally spill your cup of hot coffee all over their computer equipment, or someone trips over your portfolio or laptop case. Anything can happen, and we are all human after all (even graphic designers!). Unless you freelance online and do not come into contact at all with the public or your clients during business, you need to seriously consider public liability insurance.
Protecting Your Equipment & Graphic Design Tools
Due to the work, graphic designers tend to own expensive computer equipment and software. Their monitors, their mac, their tablet and mobile devices, maybe even a camera (read why photographers need insurance!)… And that’s even before you take into account the expensive graphic software such as Photoshop. Once you start adding up all your graphic design tools and equipment that you could not possibly work without, it all starts looking like a lot. What would you do if one day there was a fire? Tools cover could protect your work tools from unforeseeable disasters in your workplace. How about all of your files on your hard drives and computers? If your computer became infected by malware, or everything accidentally got deleted, would you be able to recover your files? If the computer was in a fire, are your files safe or will the data loss cause you months of work.
Yes. Graphic Designers Need Insurance.
From public liability to professional indemnity, there are many cases in which graphic designers have thanked their lucky stars that they were insured. Leaving yourself vulnerable to legal issues that may potentially arise is a risk. Like many creative industries, graphic design is more than just a business; it’s a passion. And for that reason, the risk may find you not only broke, but broken-hearted.