Liability clause/liability insurance
Thread poster: Anita van Houdt

Anita van Houdt  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 08:00
Member (Aug 2019)
English to Dutch
+ ...
Oct 17

Hi, after successful assessments I'm about to onboard with two translation agencies - one in the USA and one in Malta - but they both have sent me contracts with a liability clause.
I have always been employed by companies as a linguist, so this liability issue as a freelancer is new for me.

Please let me know your experience with liability clauses: sign them or not?

I'm hesitating to sign them without a liability insurance and here's my second question:
w
... See more
Hi, after successful assessments I'm about to onboard with two translation agencies - one in the USA and one in Malta - but they both have sent me contracts with a liability clause.
I have always been employed by companies as a linguist, so this liability issue as a freelancer is new for me.

Please let me know your experience with liability clauses: sign them or not?

I'm hesitating to sign them without a liability insurance and here's my second question:
which liability insurance can you recommend and what does it cost approx.?
Collapse


 

Kay-Viktor Stegemann
Germany
Local time: 08:00
Member (2016)
English to German
Should not be unlimited Oct 17

Anita van Houdt wrote:

Hi, after successful assessments I'm about to onboard with two translation agencies - one in the USA and one in Malta - but they both have sent me contracts with a liability clause.
I have always been employed by companies as a linguist, so this liability issue as a freelancer is new for me.

Please let me know your experience with liability clauses: sign them or not?


I have seen such clauses where the liability is limited to the value of the respective project (i. e. the fee you are getting for it). In other cases, I have negotiated an amendment to this effect. I think that is good practice and fair for both sides.


ahartje
Carolina Finley
Teresa Borges
Tomasz Sienicki
 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 08:00
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
@Anita Oct 17

Anita van Houdt wrote:
Please let me know your experience with liability clauses: sign them or not?


You have to consider how likely it is that the clause will be triggered. Many agreements that we sign contain unlimited liability clauses, but we sign them because we feel it's unlikely that the other party will ever initiate a liability action against us. For example, when you installed Windows or Microsoft Office, or when you signed up for ProZ.com or for your e-mail provider, you [probably] agreed to unlimited liability, but you did not even think about it.

Strictly speaking, though, you should not sign anything that you don't or can't agree to. Unlimited liability is something that no freelance translator can afford (financially speaking), so it makes no sense for any freelance translator to agree to unlimited liability.

In addition, it's just silly to require a freelance translator to agree to unlimited liability. Many of the contracts that we sign with agencies were written, it seems, by lawyers who thought that the contracts would be signed by large, international companies, instead of individuals working from home.

If you really don't like the clause, you can cross it out and send the crossed-out version to the client. Sometimes they accept this, and from that point onwards you have a new client. Sometimes they don't accept it, and then you must explain to them why you can't sign such a clause. Sometimes they believe you, and sometimes they don't.

I'm hesitating to sign them without a liability insurance...


Odds are that any liability insurance that you have will be cancelled if you sign a contract that accepts unlimited liability.

It's very difficult to get liability insurance anyway, because you need to convince the insurance company that it is highly unlikely that you will ever make a claim, and that means that they must be satisfied with your education, training, methods, procedures, etc. Very few freelance translators have this type of insurance.


 

Anita van Houdt  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 08:00
Member (Aug 2019)
English to Dutch
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Liability clause/liability insurance Oct 18

Thanks Kay-Viktor and Samuel for sharing your opinion, very useful!

 

Anthony Keily
Local time: 08:00
Member
Italian to English
+ ...
Where it comes from Oct 20

I'm working in Italy and it's quite common to find these clauses.

I think they come from the fact that the agencies have a lawyer draw up their contacts, and the lawyer works from boilerplates applying to other service/industry areas. The contracts are designed to protect the agency as much as possible, but don't take account of actual conditions in the sector or the feasibility for translators of obtaining insurance.

I have signed these agreements in the past and I gu
... See more
I'm working in Italy and it's quite common to find these clauses.

I think they come from the fact that the agencies have a lawyer draw up their contacts, and the lawyer works from boilerplates applying to other service/industry areas. The contracts are designed to protect the agency as much as possible, but don't take account of actual conditions in the sector or the feasibility for translators of obtaining insurance.

I have signed these agreements in the past and I guess it's a risk. I do tell the agencies that I'm uninsured.
Collapse


 


To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:


You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »

Liability clause/liability insurance

Advanced search







SDL Trados Studio 2019 Freelance
The leading translation software used by over 250,000 translators.

SDL Trados Studio 2019 has evolved to bring translators a brand new experience. Designed with user experience at its core, Studio 2019 transforms how new users get up and running, helps experienced users make the most of the powerful features.

More info »
SDL MultiTerm 2019
Guarantee a unified, consistent and high-quality translation with terminology software by the industry leaders.

SDL MultiTerm 2019 allows translators to create one central location to store and manage multilingual terminology, and with SDL MultiTerm Extract 2019 you can automatically create term lists from your existing documentation to save time.

More info »



Forums
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs
  • Forums
  • Multiple search