As a frontend web developer, you are a jack of all trades – part designer, part coder. It's your job to make sure the data on the backend displays properly for the end user. Clients are counting on you to make sure their websites look good and function properly. If they don't, expect angry phone calls in the middle of the night – or even a lawsuit.
That's why you might need frontend web developer insurance. The appropriate policies can cover expenses when you're sued over copyright infringement, accidents around the office, or other mishaps.
7 Common Risks Frontend Web Developers May Face
Let's look at the risks in your line of work and which policies frontend web developers often purchase to help protect their business.
- Image infringement. You're working on a real estate company's website, and your client sends the photos to featured on the site. You're on a tight deadline, so you don't think to double-check that the images are properly licensed. You also figured your client knows better than to send you photos they don't have the rights to use. Wrong. Your web design firm is eventually sued for license infringement. You have a General Liability Insurance policy, so you call your insurer. It arranges for a lawyer to represent your business in court and pays for the damages you owe.
- Business equipment goes up in flames. Your teenage son is teaching himself to cook. Unfortunately, he leaves an oven mitt too close to the stove, and the subsequent fire destroys the kitchen and your home office before the fire department arrives. Your homeowner's insurance doesn't cover business equipment, so you file a Business Property Insurance claim via your Business Owner's Policy. It helps you replace your dual-screen desktop, fax machine, printer, and tablet.
- Missed deadline. You agree to help your (difficult) brother-in-law design a website for his business at a discounted rate, and he signs your standard client contract. Together, you outline a design plan and create a few benchmark dates. He keeps adding to the design – which breaks deadline – but he's family and you soldier on. Finally, four months after the projected deadline, you finish the site – and he has the nerve to sue you over a breach of contract. Your Errors & Omissions Insurance can cover the claim, but you vow never to do that kind of favor again.
- Data breach lawsuits. You back up your business's data with a private cloud provider. The cloud provider notifies you that its system has been compromised and your (and your customers') data has been exposed. The provider also reminds you that it isn't liable for damages because you signed a contract that passed the burden on to you. Now you face multiple lawsuits from your clients over the breach. The Cyber Liability Insurance coverage included in your Errors and Omissions policy can help you handle the legal costs.
- Employee injury. One of your developers gets on a ladder to change a burnt bulb. He slips and falls, breaking an ankle. Your Workers' Compensation Insurance may pay for the employee's medical expenses and lost wages. The Employer's Liability Insurance portion of the policy can cover lawsuits over employee injuries if he sues.
- Employee dishonesty. A local credit union hires your business to design a new website. The project is going great until you discover that one of your employees stole money while setting up credentials. Your contract with the credit union required you to purchase Fidelity Bond Insurance in case this happened so it could get its money back.
- Wrongful termination lawsuit. After you fire your employee for stealing from the credit union, she sues you over wrongful termination. She claims she didn't do it, despite the overwhelming evidence to the contrary. Even though the case seems pretty straightforward, you still need to defend your business in court, which can get expensive fast. Your Employment Practices Liability Insurance can pay for legal costs, including attorney fees, as you fight the lawsuit.
Risk Management Resources for Frontend Web Developers
As you can see, even the most ordinary operations at a web development business can lead to an insurance claim. Take a look at our risk management blog, free sample contracts, insurance cost estimates, and other free resources to learn how to manage your risks from the start.