IT staffing agencies are familiar with their clients’ requirements for insurance coverage, and know that they have to have the insurance to get the business. But you may wonder if all that coverage is really necessary. The good news is that in almost all cases, the insurance coverage your client requires can be both affordable and beneficial to your business.
Beyond finding a reputable insurance agency, staffing firms need to do their homework to reduce their liability in client dealings. Typically, clients want their IT recruitment agencies – as well as the information technology subcontractors those companies hire on their behalf – to carry some or all of the following four types of coverage:
General liability insurance
General liability insurance for IT staffing agencies covers damage to property or injury to people. Client companies often require all of their vendors – from plumbers to IT staffing firms – to show proof of general liability insurance. In some cases, the mandate is driven by the client’s risk managers, who seek to reduce the company’s risk of financial loss due to lawsuits.
Any systems integrator you place on a job could accidentally damage hardware, cause a short or put a foot through a drop ceiling while pulling cable. Even a software developer, software engineer or programmer working at home could accidentally spill a drink on a laptop or drop a server in his or her possession.
When a client goes after one of your information technology subcontractors for compensation, you’re likely to be held responsible as well. IT staffing firms with liability insurance from a quality insurance agency are protected from the financial fallout that could result.
Professional liability insurance
Professional liability insurance for IT recruitment agencies is like malpractice insurance for these firms and the information technology service providers they place. Also known as E&O insurance, it protects your IT recruiting agency from liability arising from errors and omissions that you or your information technology subcontractors may make on the job. Clients require it because they know that people make mistakes.
Your client’s greatest risk in hiring you is that your mistakes could spawn a lawsuit or financial loss. For example, if your staffing firm places an information technology subcontractor on a job, and that individual makes a mistake that wipes out hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of client data, your client can claim the error was your fault and expect you to compensate the company. Without liability insurance, IT staffing agencies can expect costs to mount quickly.
Having professional liability insurance for IT staffing agencies just makes sense. Without it, IT staffing firms are liable for legal defense costs if their clients make claims against them and for settlement costs if a court finds them at fault. A misunderstanding may be all it takes to get sued. Once a client alleges negligence and communications break down, your legal expenses begin to grow.
Workers’ compensation insurance
Some states require companies to carry workers’ compensation insurance, while others don’t. If your client’s company is based in a state that requires it, your IT recruiting firm will probably be asked to carry it, even if your own home state does not mandate it.
Why? In some states, your client will be forced to cover you with its own workers’ compensation policy if you or your employees get injured on the job. Also, in some states, your client’s insurance carrier can bill your client for coverage for all subcontractors who don’t provide their own certificate of coverage. Both result in higher premiums for your client.
Workers’ compensation insurance covers medical costs as well as disability and compensation, should you or one of your employees get hurt on the job. If you’re a solo IT professional with your own health staffing insurance, workers’ compensation insurance may be redundant – but you may still need it to get the work.
If your IT recruitment agency does have employees, protecting them with workers’ compensation insurance is a smart thing to do. From carpal tunnel syndrome to a slick break room floor, any number of on-the-job hazards could jeopardize your employees’ health or take them away from their jobs. Workers’ compensation coverage ensures that your employees are taken care of and saves your company any expenses arising from their ongoing care.
Working with a reputable insurance agency, IT staffing firms can secure the right coverage to meet client and state requirements.
Fidelity bond coverage
Often described as employee dishonesty coverage, this type of insurance compensates your client if you or your IT staffing firm’s employees steal money or property on the job. If your IT staffing firm places an information technology service provider who turns out to be less than honest, you’re just as likely to be held accountable as the person who does the deed.
Clients in the banking and financial services industries typically want programmers, software engineers, software developers and system integrators to carry fidelity bond insurance from a reputable insurance agency because they’re entrusting them with sensitive information, such as customer account numbers, and personal information, such as Social Security numbers.
If your staffing firm has information technology subcontractors handling valuable property or customer information – even though you trust them – keep in mind that anything could happen. Computer equipment could disappear, or a programmer could obtain banking customers’ account numbers and passwords to steal from their accounts. If that happens, fidelity bond insurance for IT staffing firms compensates your client for the missing money or property.
By contacting a quality insurance agency, IT recruitment agencies can learn more about fidelity bond insurance and how much coverage is best.