RE: Insuring the contract Tech Writer

Subject: RE: Insuring the contract Tech Writer
From: Katie Crowley Rosenberg <krosenbe -at- easysystemsinc -dot- com>
To: "'techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com'" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 17 Feb 2000 15:56:12 -0600

Per Tristan's request, I am forwarding this response to the list. It's a little long. Sorry.

From: Tristan Bishop[SMTP:claritydocs -at- earthlink -dot- net]
Sent: Thursday, February 17, 2000 2:51 PM
To: Katie Crowley Rosenberg
Subject: Re: Insuring the contract Tech Writer

Dear Katie,

Wow! Thanks so much for all the information. Your reply was extremely
helpful and I urge you to post it to the list.

I think everyone would benefit from seeing it.

I appreciate it!

----- Original Message -----
From: Katie Crowley Rosenberg <krosenbe -at- easysystemsinc -dot- com>
To: <claritydocs -at- earthlink -dot- net>
Sent: February 17, 2000 7:55 AM
Subject: RE: Insuring the contract Tech Writer

> As a freelance professional for 10 years prior to taking another W-2, I
carried professional liability insurance. Early on in my freelance career, I
was threatened with a lawsuit. This threat had to do with competition - not
accuracy; however, the competitor (who had two attorneys on their board of
directors who did pro bono work for them) would have stopped at nothing to
shut down my new magazine primarily because they wanted its trademark. (Some
of the articles I wrote for this magazine and for other journals were based
on veterinary or human medicine. No matter how factual, these articles not
only put me at risk, they put my husband's privately owned business at risk.
The more technical the material I wrote - or edited, or published - the
greater the risk.) My attorney and my accountant put together an S-Corp for
me, lined up professional liability insurance, and sent a copy of the
recently issued trademark registration papers to the opposing attorney in an
envelope bearing my new corporate logo. I was trussed up like a coccoon and
it cost me a chunk of change, but I was out of reach. More recently, we
added errors and omissions to my professional insurance. Why? Businesses
relied on me to write - among other things - their limitation of liability
clause at the front of their manual. I have had two years of business law,
but insurance is cheap when you find yourself backed into a corner. The real
world's rule of thumb is: if you don't own anything, you don't need
insurance - the deeper your pockets, the more attractive you are in a
> Does this have any bearing on true contract writers? It does if your
contract doesn't exclude you from any lawsuits. Read the contract thoroughly
before signing. Small companies may not exclude you. Large companies will if
you ask them to, but it may not be in their standard contract. The inherent
risks associated with the product/subject you are documenting may influence
your decision, as well. My current company involves automation and
accounting - both of which are risky enough that I would carry insurance if
I were contracting.
> I still have my S-Corp and I run all my "moonlighting" jobs through that
account to protect my husband's business.
> As for blanket crime insurance; how honest are you? :) Just kidding.
Industrial espionage is as easy as hacking into your e-mail. Proving you
were not an accomplice may be more difficult.
> <<Subject: Insuring the contract Tech Writer
> From: "Tristan Bishop" <claritydocs -at- earthlink -dot- net>
> Date: Wed, 16 Feb 2000 12:13:25 -0800
> X-Message-Number: 42
> I'm enjoying the discussion about w-2 and 1099s. I love contracting and
> freedom it brings. What's helped me is picking a big client, coming in at
> reasonably low rate, working hard, regularily raising the rate, and
> gradually building my knowledge of their internal business.
> I do have a question. Do you other contractor's carry professional
> liability insurance, blanket crime insurance and error's and ommissions
> coverage?
> I sit in my office and type up manuals and email them. Why would I
> logically need all this coverage? What do you typically expect to pay for
> the coverage?
> Thanks,
> Tristan Bishop
> Clarity Consulting>>

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