Insurance – Are you covered?

September 3, 2018

ASLIA is seeking interest and feedback on some work ASLIA undertook recently in relation to insurance on behalf of interpreter practitioners.

Some weeks ago, a survey to members was undertaken to gather information from members in relation to insurance coverage and a large number of responses were received. Responses indicated that members would like more information on a number of insurance types. ASLIA Victoria treasurer Kerrie-ann Viitala and myself have been investigating options and have collated the following information to share with you.

If interpreters become registered providers with the NDIS or undertake ANY direct work as interpreters, they are required to have both Professional Indemnity and Public Liability Insurance (PI/PL*).

*PI/PL Professional Indemnity Insurance/Public Liability Insurance

What is Professional Indemnity and Public Liability insurance?

Professional Indemnity Insurance is designed for professionals who provide advice or a service to their customers. If someone alleges that you’ve made a mistake, overlooked a critical piece of information, misstated a fact or they have misinterpreted you in the course of your work, and this results in a financial loss for your client, then they may take legal action against you to recover these losses.

Whether or not the allegation is true, Professional Indemnity Insurance seeks to protect both your assets, your reputation and the contents of your back pocket should this occur. This means you can continue in your business without the stress of financial or reputational ruin should a claim arise.

The risk of claims against you isn’t always determined by your skill or level of professionalism. There is always the risk of an unhappy client making a claim against you. While you can’t control this, PI is to make sure you have some control in what happens next.

Regardless of the merit of a claim, your Professional Indemnity Insurance will pay for your legal defence as well as any judgments or settlements that you or your business may have to pay to compensate the suing party, up to stated policy limits.
Public Liability insurance protects you and your business against the financial risk of being found liable to a third party for death or injury, loss or damage to property.

Small business owners have a responsibility to the safety of their customers, employees, suppliers and the community; as well as third party property. If youare found to be negligent the financial repercussions can be devastating, just the cost of defending yourself could put you out of business. With the right Public Liability cover, the insurance company will provide the funds to coveryour legal costs and any compensation claims, leaving your business free of financial risk.

If you are doing business with another business/interpreter, make sure they have public liability insurance too so all’s well that ends well should an accident or injury occur from their negligence.

Investigation with a number of brokers indicates that to take out PI/PL*Insurance as an individual will be upwards of $550 per year. We have decided to work with one broker – Countrywide Advice. Countrywide Advice is a broker who is highly recommended with 35 years of experience. Country Wide Advice has provided ASLIA with a quote for a group policy for this insurance type (PI/PL)* if more than 100 individuals decide to opt in. This group policy would cost approximately $300 per individual per year (saving $250+ per person). In the 2019/20 membership year, ASLIA will be considering the incorporation of PI/PL* insurance into the individual ASLIA membership fee (which may further reduce the insurance cost).

How the group cover will work…

The cover will be under a combined policy with a limit of $1,000,000 for professional indemnity (any one claim and $2,000,000 in aggregate) and $20,000,000 for public liability. The policy will be underwritten on an individual basis (separate policy for each individual member).

Please note this PI/PL* offer will be open to ASLIA individual members only who hold a current NAATI interpreting credential.

Following the recent survey there was also interest from members regarding Income Protection, Trauma and Total Permanent Disability (TPD) insurance. Due to the nature of these insurance types they require individual tailoring and cannot be established as a group policy. If you decide to opt in to this ASLIA offer of PI/PL*, you will be able to access the broker at Country Wide Advice to discuss and arrange any additional personal insurance you may require (income protection, TPD, etc).  Before considering and discussing additional cover it is always a good idea to check your superannuation fund, you may have some cover included.

If you already have PI/PL insurance cover we encourage you to see this as an opportunity to save money and compare your current cover with what ASLIA is potentially providing. Once ASLIA cover is finalised you may be able to exit your current cover. Please refer to the terms and conditions of your current provider for further details.

ASLIA would welcome feedback on this proposal from individual members, to ensure we have negotiated an offer that will meet your needs. Feedback will be accepted up until September 7th 2018, and ASLIA plans to launch the offer to opt-In soon after.