The Australian Computer Society has announced that it will bundle professional indemnity insurance with membership after striking a deal with OAMPS Insurance Brokers.
The deal will provide young entrepreneurs, or those earning under $25,000 in consulting fees, with professional indemnity insurance for up to $10 million per engagement or $20 million in total.
ACS chief executive Alan Paterson said the package recognises that “just as government contracts require insurance coverage with specified limits", businesses are looking for IT suppliers that can "provide assurance" of their professionalism.
Those writing and selling their first application, for example, or taking up their first consulting engagement with a business, can pitch with confidence if covered against lawsuits, he said.
The ACS professional indemnity safeguards include:
- Covering defective work
- Failure to perform pursuant to a contract
- Product recall protection
- Cover for sub-contracted work
Although OAMPS has offered the package on a global basis, legal frameworks within various jurisdictions in the USA and Canada creates challenges for professional indemnity insurance in those territories, the ACS noted.
The professional indemnity bundle for start-ups is the first of several ACS initiatives to be rolled out this year that attempt help SME IT practitioners understand where liability begins and ends.
Once an IT professional exceeds the $25,000 per year threshold, the ACS has a range of options in place, included pre-negotiated rates for more substantial professional indemnity coverage.
The free bundling of professional indemnity insurance for start-ups goes some way to countering critics of the society, who have argued ACS membership does not provide enough value.
Patterson noted that ACS membership costs $60 a year for students and provides access to networking, mentoring and professional development opportunities, research and tech journals, and "now liability insurance to set them apart in a shifting market.”
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