186 – Business liability insurance v’s none

Debate with Nathan Wrigley and David Waumsley

Setting up the Debate

“Web professionals should not only think about insurance, but also understand it. Insurance is something we don’t necessarily want to budget for or consider, yet as professionals, we have to”

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Scope creep, unexpected project delays, client relationships breaking down, and unpaid invoices. The good news is that there’s an insurance policy to help with these scenarios. In the UK, we call it “professional indemnity insurance.” Elsewhere, it can be called “professional liability” or “errors and omissions insurance.”

Here’s a primer article that might get you up to speed from Smashing Magazine:

We also found that people were talking about this and wanting some clarity in the WordPress Facebook groups that we frequent:

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For business liability insurance

Against business liability insurance from David’s perspective…

David is working ‘with’ clients more than ‘for’ clients and perhaps this method insulates him from the need to protect himself with insurance?

  • Can you ever have enough to protect you?  The Smashing Magazine piece talks about needing cover from £100,000 – running to millions!
  • No Legal requirement – at least in the UK.
  • Like all insurers they are using your fears to sell you something.
  • Can’t we safeguard in other ways? What about moving to hourly rates for work. Then you don’t deliver a result and frame it as a collaboration with clients!
  • Scope creep is paid for (it’s an agile pay as you go scheme).
  • Project delays don’t matter – they pay upfront hours up to a deadline. I have a way to use those hour even if they are delayed.
  • Client relationship break down. In one session I don’t charge anything I could not refund. The client can only pay more if they choose to – which assumes they are happy too.
  • Intellectual property – not relevant – GPL code (or CC zero).
  • Negligence – surely this can be escaped? If you start from the position they you can’t control the software or service use. More so I can control what they do.

Final thoughts from David…

If you charge on promises of end results and a lot of money is at sake then probably you need some protection. Always balance your risks.

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Transcript (if available)

These transcripts are created using software, so apologies if there are errors in them.

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Nathan Wrigley: [00:00:00] Welcome to the WP podcast, bringing you the latest news from the WordPress community. Welcome your hosts David Waumsley and Nathan Wrigley.
Hello there once again and welcome to this. The WP Builds podcast. This is episode number 186. Entitled business liability insurance versus non. It was published on Thursday, the 2nd of July, 2020, my name's Nathan Wrigley. And I would sure appreciate it. If you felt like spreading the word about WP builds, we produce a lot of specific to WordPress content each and every week we do that on our website and also on YouTube.
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Buttons, images, headers rows, really anything. The best part is that it works with elemental Beaver builder and the WordPress block editor. You can check it out and get a free [email protected]. Okie dokie. Let's get stuck into today's podcast. We have an interesting episode. It's all about public liability insurance versus numb.
I know that a lot of you might be just doing website building as a bit of a hobby and handing them over to your friends or potentially some clients. And do you need to have insurance if that's your setup, maybe you're working for an agency and that agency absolutely has to mandated have in some kind of insurance setup.
Maybe you're a freelancer with a thriving business. So yeah. Do you need it in that situation? What are the kinds of things that people are going to come after you for? Is it necessary or is it something that insurance salesman scare us with that we don't really need? David and I clearly are not experts in insurance and we just thrash this subject about today.
And it's really interesting. So I hope that you enjoy it.
David Waumsley: [00:04:08] Hello in today's debate, we are discussing business liability insurance versus having none. Nathan, this is going to be a really difficult one for us. Isn't it?
Nathan Wrigley: [00:04:18] Yeah, it really is. Actually I think of all the debates we've had, this is the one where we're going to probably go out on a bit of a limb and talk about things where we.
Well, we really are in opposition to a lot of people, in that I think people will have very strongly differing views on this. The, the reason I say that is because we, we asked a few of our friends on a video call, what their thoughts were about this, and they, they were sort of fairly polarized. And then we.
We found track down threads in various Facebook groups, including one, which we set up on our, in our own Facebook group. And there were, there were just, there was just such differing opinions. so we'll see, see how this goes, but I think there are, there are legitimate things to be said on both sides. I think if you have.
Taken the position that you've got the money to do the liability insurance, where you're definitely not losing anything except a small amount of money, but obviously, you know, if you, if you don't take that position and you think I'm just not going to have any, I've saved myself a few hundred pounds or dollars a year, that's fine too, but let's get into it and see.
David Waumsley: [00:05:26] Yeah, there is a bit of terminology. I mean, I guess you might share the link on the smashing magazine article that's on this, which is pretty good stuff there. I mean, there are different terms for it. We're talking about, in the UK, I think it's called professional and Demetry insurance and I think elsewhere it can be.
Professional liability or errors and omissions insurance. So there are different things we're talking about here in terms of the terminology, but that's what we're talking about. And the smashing magazine article is great because it, it relates this kind of insurance to the job that we do. So anyway, let's move on.
So you're going take the, the, for having. This kind of insurance.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:06:06] Yes. Which is, which is a little bit disingenuous because on the whole, I don't have anything like this. I come from a background of my father is well walls. He's now long since retired, but he, he sold insurance and he ran an insurance company and this stuff was drilled into me, you know, protect yourself, protect yourself, whatever line of work you're in.
Just make sure you've got the insurance. And obviously in the UK, there's a whole. Tranche of things, which you may not possess unless you have insurance. So as an example, you may not possess a mortgage on your house unless you've got some insurance and the same would go for your car. You're not allowed to drive a car around until you've got some insurance.
And, and I do remember seeing things in the past where. Well, people say that, that it is a requirement for a UK business to have insurance. And I'm not sure what point the line is drawn there, whether that's, like a free a freelancer or a sole trader as we call them. Or if that's something slightly different.
If you've got employees, I believe you. Got to have insurance. There is some, yeah, some requirements in law that if you, if you, you know, if you would literally have a payroll and you're paying people, they've got to have protections, which, which makes sense, but that doesn't fit with my model. Anyway, the reason I'm saying all that is.
I have a, my, my family has a background in dealing with insurance, and yet I don't appear to have any,
David Waumsley: [00:07:28] I need to do I, and, and the us in the UK with our type of business, not employing other people, we don't have a legal requirement for our profession to have it. So we do know that much at least, but I'm not sure if that's true of the rest of the world.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:07:41] No. And again, that, that is, that is something to be said right at the start. There are so many different terminologies and phrases and different ways of saying things. And also I think different cultures, different societies and different countries have a really different approach to, to insurance. You know, insurance is the bedrock of, of an awful lot of things in different parts of the world.
For example, healthcare in the United States seems to be driven by the insurance model, whereas in the UK, it's just not. And I wonder if. If these kinds of things come into play a little bit, we have a different approach to whether whether you should be sewing people, whether suing is necessary, whether sewing even really ever happens.
I have to confess that I don't really know anybody that goes around suing people. And I don't know anybody that has been sued particularly. So if I am shielded from that, I suppose.
David Waumsley: [00:08:29] Yeah. And maybe we should just say as well, it's a base small sample in these groups that we looked at. But the one thing that we did know is that nobody who has the insurance that we know of has yet made a claim.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:08:42] Yes. That, that did come out. Didn't it, there was a lot of people in different. Yeah. Scenarios talking about why they thought it was very important and protecting themselves and, you know, laying out the reasons which we'll no doubt got get onto, but it was, it was interesting that nobody said, yes, I have deployed this insurance.
It's saved my bacon on a number of weeks or even once, you know, so that, that was quite telling. And I wonder if. I wonder exactly that if we're sort of scaring ourselves into talking about needing insurance, as opposed to actually needing it, obviously caveat emptor. If you have employee employees, you have to it's the law.
But if like me, you're a freelancer, it's a nice thing to have. and obviously you can't get it after the fact. And that's a, that's a point that quite a few people make. You won't need it until the day that you need it.
David Waumsley: [00:09:32] Yeah. Anyway, it's your job to scare me into needing one of these. So,
Nathan Wrigley: [00:09:37] well, I suppose I suppose that the thing here is exactly that it is scaring, isn't it.
And the point being that you don't know what the future holds, you know, you, you sort of blindly go on, do your work. and you don't really know what is in the, the mind of the person that you're dealing with. You know, they seem. Thank you. Very nice. You sign all the contracts. If indeed you have contracts, which no doubt we'll get onto and everything seems to be going swimmingly.
And then something, some little trigger happens. Maybe it's a boss pointing something out that doesn't work. Maybe it's a company that's struggling financially and needs to needs to have a, have a reward, which you promise them and so on and so forth when you were building the project for them and they just turn around and come after you.
Now in my case, I have very little in reserve. So if somebody were to come after me in law and request X amount of tens of thousands of pounds, and they've got a, a good lawyer, then I I'm in I'm in big trouble. Because I simply don't have the financial reserves to fight this. I don't really know what I would do in terms of, you know, shutting up, shop, running away.
those kinds of things, you know, literally saying, well, I'm, I'm out of business, forget about it. Let's just move on. You're not going to get me because I don't exist anymore kind of thing. But, I mean, that's the point is that you don't really know. You know, if, if you're relying on this web design business to provide your income, you don't really want that hanging over your head.
It's like the sword of Damocles. And I think that's what you're buying in most cases. My experience is that nobody's suing anybody else. I just. I don't know of anybody who who's got a story to tell where they deployed there, they deployed their insurance and it was successful and it protected them. I just don't know any stories like that.
So what I think you're really buying is peace of mind at a fairly low cost. So let's start there. It's just something to keep you sleeping at night. Something to keep the Wolf from the door, something to stop you fretting that some bizarre situation which could happen will
David Waumsley: [00:11:44] happen. Yeah, and I haven't really got a counter to that.
It's interesting because we've been asking people about this because we're going to talk about it. And that has made me more fearful than it's made me look at options for me to insure myself because of that peace of mind. But I still end up back to the fact that. Because of my type of business, being very much a collaboration where there's equal responsibility, I'm just bringing my skills to, you know, to their organization.
I still find it hard to imagine. Well, let's put it this way in a way. I don't need that peace of mind because I don't want to be fearful. And I think if, if it got to the situation where I felt one of the clients that I picked up came after me, I would just get out of this business.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:12:29] Right. That's an interesting position, isn't it?
And you're quite unique in that. I would have thought, because if you've already mentally made that, made that jump, you know, if, if, if the, the proverbial hit the farm, I could just shut up shop and move on. I suspect this many people who simply couldn't do that. You know, they've got mails to feed, they got mortgages to pay and so on and so forth.
So your lifestyle and the decisions that you've made around. The place where you live and the work that you do allows you to have that. But also, I suppose it's bolstered by the fact that you've been doing it for so long and nobody's been. Litigious with. but it is interesting. I am, here's an example.
Whenever I buy my, let's say car insurance, now I have to buy my car insurance. I don't have any choice about that. If I wish to drive my car, I have to have it for fear of being, you know, having an accident and then being found not to have it and getting in deep trouble with the law. But I am persuaded quite often when I get insurance to buy the little.
Bolt-on extras that I don't really need now in the UK, won't bore you, but you can buy various different levels of car insurance and you can pay more for more protection. And I always seem to end up with the more protection. One has always seem to like go, Oh yeah. Okay. I'll add that 40 pounds on there.
That sounds like a, sounds like a feature. I could do it. Yeah. Do I need my keys replacing? Yeah, that sounds good. I'd like my keys replacing. Do I? And so my point being that I think, I think that peace of mind obviously does mean something to me. And in your case, it, it's not important enough because you've, you've waited up and you thought I'll just close up shop and move on.
But having that peace of mind. I feel is the, the real benefit here. It's not that you're actually actively preventing things from happening because they don't seem to be a feature of, of the industry that we're in. Maybe it happens more than we know, but I think, I think that's the thing. You, you literally just buying the thought that, well, if somebody does come after me, I can just literally turn that around, give it to my insurance company.
They'll hire some lawyers and it'll all go away and I'll be fine.
David Waumsley: [00:14:36] Yeah. And actually I'm going to bolster your side a bit with this one. I'm just wondering, there's some people that we know where relationships have broken down and it's been over things like project delays or, or scope creep and the people I've known.
Who've got a fair bit of money on this. Have just refunded them. They've taken the loss and just give them the money. And that's it. That's the end of the relationship. I'm just wondering if you had that insurance, might you just feel more inclined to just say, okay, no, you know, This is how it is. You're not getting your money back and then it's up to them to go to the lawyers.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:15:07] Right? I think that's true. I think if you have that insurance and you know that you can rely on it, especially if it is something where it's FA and when we were recording earlier, we mentioned this as probably the, the biggest thing, not, not just the fact that you can sleep at night, but when it comes to money, The actual, you know, the client simply not paying or paying incredibly late cashflow problems, that kind of thing.
I think if you had the insurance, you would, right. You've got some recourse. you know, you're paying your 30 pounds a month or whatever it might be to your insurance company. That's a very small and modest cost. However, if you were to go to a lawyer, And set up proceedings to get some money out of somebody you're going to be paying thousands before anything's even started.
And so it's like, it's like a tiny little bit of money just to give you that peace of mind just, and I, but I think you're right. It would, it would encourage me to be more. how should we say to go after people, but I've just, I don't think I've got that in me much. Anyway. I'd rather kind of like run away from these problems and say, look, we're just going to stop working.
We'll we'll refund, whatever. At this point, I'll just walk away from this project or. You know, you've paid us so much. You're being unreasonable now. Let's just stop. I'll keep what we've done. I'll give you everything. You can have the code. You can have all the work, the hot, the rights to the whole thing.
There you go. That's yours. So,
David Waumsley: [00:16:27] yeah. Yeah, you've made my point and I think that's how I would handle it. Somebody else in the WP builds group said that they kept, they didn't have insurance. I think that we're the only one. Person in that thread that said they just kept some money aside for these kinds of eventualities.
And that, I guess I feel like that, I think I'm in a fortunate situation in the sense that although I don't, you know, earn a great deal of money from the business, I do, I do live through traveling. Traveling cheaply and, and I've got a little bit of reserve money, so it doesn't feel like that. And I do think, you know, if I was in a different situation where my living costs were much higher and I felt under pressure to take on people that I wouldn't vet in the usual way, I think I would end up.
I would lean towards buying this as that protection.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:17:14] Yeah. Well, that's interesting, isn't it? In the business model and the, the, the affordability of your lifestyle really has a material effect on this, but also the, the, the, the fear of having things that you've been accustomed to sort of stripped away from you, that you know, that, that your mortgage might not be paid, that somebody might.
Use up so much of your time and, you know, mental health, you know, somebody comes after you with all of the stress that that creates trying to, trying to formulate a, a legal argument for yourself. Cause I suppose if somebody comes after you and you've got none of this insurance and they've got some really good lawyers, You are basically toast, you know, that they're going to find a way through your contracts, no matter how well your contract's written, there's probably a way to leverage it open and destroy you.
So, yeah. Interesting. Yeah, I think yeah. Is a big part of this. Yeah.
David Waumsley: [00:18:04] Yeah. And the smashing magazine article is very much about disabusing people of the idea that the contracts are gonna be. Tech too, and they're not really all day. And that's just some sort of a basic agreement. What's in the terms there, but still, if somebody is dissatisfied or has a different interpretation of what that contract meant, you know, it still goes to court and you still need to be able to sort of defend yourself.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:18:27] I have a very strange little anecdote, which has nothing to do with web development. I used to work in a travel company and every year this guy would phone up and he would order a holiday. And after all, during his holiday, he would, pay for his holiday. And then he'd say, I won't be paying for this. I will get it all back off you.
And it was the same guy under law. We had to provide him with a holiday, even though we knew that as soon as this guys holiday booking came through, everybody would gather around and try to like, okay, I wonder how he's going to do it this year. And every year he did it. And every year, the, the travel company, which was a big truffle company, would.
Would modify their contracts to shore up the tiny little caveat, the little hole that he'd managed to figure out. And every year he would order his holiday and he would get it for free. It was just cat and mouse and he always won. I don't know if that's still goes on, but it was quite interesting. And so that's the point, right?
If you've got a contract, unless it's, unless you've spent a lot of money and had it looked over and is really bespoke for the project that you've undertaken. I wonder how much protection you're actually giving yourself. My guess is it's. It's not a lot.
David Waumsley: [00:19:35] But also to extend that how much protection are you really get in?
Well, the people who are insure you as well, I mean, you know, that's the game, isn't it. As soon as you make a claim, they are looking for ways not to pay you.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:19:48] That's the insurance, that's the business, isn't it, their businesses to take the money and pay, pay nothing out. you know, we've all heard stories about people who've been screwed by their insurance company, because there was just something that they, they forgot to do.
They forgot to fill out a form, or they forgot to declare that I don't know who they've added something to their car or that they've, you know, modified their house in this modest way. And, and they, yeah, that's a really good point. In that, you know, even if you've got insurance, is it worth the paper it's written on?
If you suddenly get sued for a ton of money, will the insurance company figure out their own legal way to get out of you? Well, you didn't do what you promised you would do in that contract. So, sorry.
David Waumsley: [00:20:28] Yeah. Yeah. I think, you know, being in WordPress, I think we get out of one of the issues that's mentioned in smashing magazine, which is the kind of copyright infringement and intellectual property, aspect of this, because most of us will be working with, GPL licenses and we'll then be able to, you know, because no one owns the code, it, it belongs to your client as much as it does to you and everybody else.
Ellison the Wells. So surely that's one angle where working. Yeah, WordPress. We don't really need it. Where perhaps people who are building from the ground up with code a platform for their clients will be in a different situation.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:21:04] Yeah. That's a really interesting one. I mean, do you, do you talk about this explicit with your clients when they, when it comes to the point of, well, let's say signing the contract or handing the project over, do you discuss that, you know that the code doesn't belong to you?
It doesn't belong to them. It kind of belongs to everybody. Do you go through all of that and reassure them? In other words, protect yourself. Yeah. I
David Waumsley: [00:21:26] think as much as time will allow, I mean, somebody comes to us to come into WP corner shops. So WordPress I explained is what it is. Most of them know what WordPress is.
And, but wherever early on, I say, why are you use this platform? And that is one of the main key reasons for it is that it's your code, but I do use premium software, but effectively point of handing it over to them, it is always right. There's and it's their choice, whether they continue to pay the licenses or stay with us.
So yes, most of the time, and it is in some kind of terms and conditions, but I don't have a contract. I just have terms and conditions when they, they pay. They're supposed to look at them.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:22:04] so do you, you don't have a contract just because you've never felt it necessary or you had one in the past and just decided it wasn't worth the paper.
It was written on. How did you come to that?
David Waumsley: [00:22:14] Well, last year, cause a lot of my work came through a colleague of mine who never did it anyway. And, I w I was kind of keen to the idea because it seemed professional, but as time has gone on and I've moved the model much more towards this. Collaboration and train in idea.
It's never seemed appropriate. And that, and we've talked about this before. I've moved very much to this agile way. So the can't be some of the other things that the smashing magazine argues for. It can help you with that kind of scope creep and project delays. Well, in my model, they don't exist. Right.
Yeah. The buy in a day at a time. And that's the point in theory, why I feel, I don't need the insurance and I could be a complete fool over this is the fact
Nathan Wrigley: [00:22:55] that
David Waumsley: [00:22:56] they probably couldn't take me because they weren't happy with the result because I'm not promising it thereby a session of certain number of hours and then they buy another.
So they're only put in a very limited amount of money down each time. And surely they can only complain about the last time they paid.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:23:12] It's an interesting time. And it did, this is one thing that always baffles me about the law, but the law is,
David Waumsley: [00:23:18] is,
Nathan Wrigley: [00:23:19] is the law whether you know it or not, she has studies to say that you can't, you can't claim ignorance of the law as a, as a legitimate, as a legitimate tool of defending yourself.
You know, just because you didn't know it was illegal to do this thing or, or that. You know, somebody, shouldn't be doing this thing. It doesn't mean that you can get away with it. And I don't know. I honestly have no idea if your, your assumptions there hold any water. just don't know. It would be interesting if somebody did come after you, whether you could get away with that, you know, the fact that you paid for this day and then.
Be paid for another one, subsequently whether that's some sort of unwritten contract of agreement that everything's running smoothly, I suppose you could argue it the other way. You know, you're, you're paying for the next one because the first one would just didn't get you what you wanted and the next week, because the other one didn't get you.
What you wanted. You just try every time you're trying to shore up the problems that the previous session created.
David Waumsley: [00:24:13] Yeah, it's that? There's a good argument. I still think it would be hard. It would be hard for someone to take me to court and say they were unhappy with this and they weren't happy because they wouldn't have mentioned it and shown any proof.
And I would always have some proof that they were happy. Yes, yes. You have to sign that off. So it would be quite tricky for them to it to go. I think the area where my model, which isn't that similar to most would, and I think we're all for this one there's negligence there, anything that they find that they believe is yours.
Fault, you know, I do the hosting in care. If their site's been down, was it my negligence?
Nathan Wrigley: [00:24:45] You know, do you protect yourself in that way, in that? Do you make it very clear? I think you mentioned this earlier that your hosting is not really done by me. You're paying me, but I'm just passing that money over to DigitalOcean in your case, do you, do you say that explicitly, that this is what your hosting is?
Or do you even get them to set up their own hosting? Cause I know that's a lot of people's. get out with this one, isn't it. You know, go and get your own hosting, then it's up to you to worry about whether things are down or not.
David Waumsley: [00:25:14] Yeah, I think I've been worrying about this kind of negligence thing all the time.
So yes, in a way, again, terms and conditions tell people when they buy it, what they're actually buying. They're buying for me to look after their sites and put it on this host in which I don't hide. And that's it. And this host in. Doesn't provide me and any kind of, I can't make any claims against DigitalOcean in my case, because it's fake clear and that terms that you cannot, so maybe they will, maybe there's what they say.
Wouldn't hold up as well. If I decided to take them to court, but I think I would lose and I, I I'm working on the same basis, but I guess it's advice. I mean, the big thing is. W
Nathan Wrigley: [00:25:59] w
David Waumsley: [00:25:59] would like to set ourselves up for our value in this industry as consultants. Don't we a little bit, and I think that's where I would be in the most danger where I've given people advice.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:26:11] Yes. I think that's one of the things that came up in the threads, though. That was most interesting to me is that people were protecting themselves against. The things that they said, really that as much as anything else, you know, advice, like you say, you know, I've given you some, some top tips about SEO and it turns out that actually that was a calamity, the SEO tanked up based upon what I told you to do.
And in many cases, That that would be catastrophic. You know, I don't know. You've got a business selling widgets and you're doing very nicely. Thank you very much. And they come to you for SEO advice and you, you issue what you believe to be the correct SEO advice, and you write it down, what they should do and they follow those instructions.
And then it all goes pear shaped there. Their website disappears off the internet and. Nobody's buying anything anymore. Those kinds of things are so ephemeral and difficult, but we do issue loads of device, you know, go with, go with this hosting company, pick this piece of software, go with this plugin, go with this.
I dunno, this, this SEO tactic, use this tool to, to create your funnels, all of this stuff. And that was what. Surprised me in our thread is that the amount of people who, who were keen to protect themselves against the words that they said and the advice that they gave. And I just thought that was really interesting.
David Waumsley: [00:27:32] Yeah, I think it is. And there is a little bit, I even, I acknowledge it. I mean, I'd like to think that effectively, my business is still small and it is friends of friends that I'm still looking after in collaboration. But I do see even within that, there is a sort of cat and mouse between us about responsibility.
You know, they would love really for me to just say, when they've got a decision to make, they would like me to just give them one categorical answer and be clear. But then as soon as I do that, Then I'm taking a responsibility for that decision. And if I don't give them that clarity and give them all, well, actually, you know, you will have to decide because there's pros and cons of that.
I see, you know, and no one can agree on these things, so you'll have to decide it's not so great for the relationship to do that. It's too much. Too much of a headache for them. So I think there was always that. So I think I'm arguing with myself that I really ought to get some insurance. Now,
Nathan Wrigley: [00:28:25] do you know what, the more that we talk about it, the more it does seem like that seems to be the sensible posture.
Interesting. The relationship thing, I think is a crucial thing though, and that the business model that you've created for yourself is, is so different from what most of us are doing in that most of us are requesting people to essentially give us a brief. give us some information, hand over some texts and over some assets and then we'll get on with it and then we'll hand it over and hopefully everybody will look at it and go, yeah, that's great.
Just modify this and, and we'll be good, but so that, that model is very much hands off and there's likely to be problems in that in the, you know, you could go back with the demo site that you've built or the staging site, and they're just. Utterly shocked and appalled. No one nowhere near what we such suggested we wanted building.
And you dig your heels in thinking, well, I can't start again. I've already invested a hundred hours in this. And so there's a problem, you know, all of a sudden the lines of defense go up and things start to go pear shaped. And maybe that's when the lawyers come out, but in your model, it's like tiny little steps built with them.
So I feel that you've got a really legitimate. Use case for not buying insurance. it just feels like you, you have protected yourself a lot because you're speaking to these people on the phone, they're there with your guidance. They're learning how to use WordPress. It's more of a, it's more of an educational experience that as much as it is a website building experience.
David Waumsley: [00:29:57] Yeah, I think you can get yourself caught up. I mean, I feel it's a bit of maturity now. We've been around for a long time and not having to worry too much about the income has allowed me to be a little bit more relaxed with how, but I don't think it's a good model. I think I'm too. They're real with my kind of conversations.
People kind of just want to say, I'm the expert. You need this, that's it. We're going to do it this way. Well, I'm always constantly just trying to throw back the responsibility for them. I'm helping them with their site. Here's things you want to consider. Rather than the, you know, this is what I say you should go with, but there are some, but even so because of the model is towards moving people forward to getting their websites built.
That's been my thing. I will do whatever it takes to get it done. So if somebody pays me for a certain length of time and they don't have the copy, it's like, well, I'm going to put, stick the copy in for you. And that's gone. Okay. You know, I've chosen some stock images for them, but again, I, you know, down the line.
It's possible. I did have a, I've done a site for a friend. I've mentioned this to you. And I know he was joking with this one, but he really handed it over to me to just pull the copyrights. So they just can't do it. And what you're doing is fine. So just do it, but I did it and it was happy and they didn't want to change anything.
He was happy with what was done, but he did make the comment. If we don't sell any of the thing that this website's set up for, I'm blaming you. Yeah. I'm absolutely certain he was joking, but it just made me think. Yeah. Maybe, maybe he could.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:31:27] Yeah. It's interesting. Cause we've talked about this largely from the point of view of protecting us from clients coming at us.
But of course there's the flip side. Isn't there. There's the, There's us going after them. because of the things that they didn't do. I mean, the biggest one, I suppose, would be non-payment right, just over 10,000 pound website and you've paid the deposit and it's time to. Time to pay the outstanding balance and it's just crickets and you might have all sorts of interesting things up your sleeve.
Like, well, I'm not going to hand the website over well. That's great. Okay. Maybe they don't want it anymore. Maybe they just got fed up and thought, right. Well, we paid 5,000. Let's just write that off, but we're not going to give you the other five. Even though you've built the thing. So there is that, you know, there's going after clients.
I have to say, I've just, I've not even come close to needing anything like this. I don't know if you have, but there's never been a point where things have gone. So pear shaped that I've thought. Hmm. I think it's time to crack open the lawyers for me. It's always a. A phone call an email, trying to be accommodating and trying to be as polite as possible.
It's always worked out, but you know, I am not the typical person in that respect and I'm not doing giant projects where literally people's lives are, or livelihoods, I should say are at stake.
David Waumsley: [00:32:49] Yeah, absolutely. And I, you know, and I can see that. I mean, all I need to do is to move, move back permanently to London.
And I think, you know, if somebody doesn't pay me, it's going to cause me a huge problems than they, I feel like I might need the insurance like this. you know, instantly I can see, all of this isn't it it's balancing risk all the time, but I think there isn't a, the can't be a possible black and white with this one because really you and I are both.
Balancing the risks against the people that we've dealt with what's happened in the past and what we're comfortable to be able to refund, you know?
Nathan Wrigley: [00:33:22] Yeah. Yeah. And honestly, any project that I've taken on, I am happy. To refund it it's not been ever like make or absolute calamity break. So I think that probably colors the whole thing.
Whereas, you know, somebody that we spoke to the other day, he talked about all of the reasons why he's got the insurance and all of it made perfectly good sense. And then he told us how much it costs and it wasn't a lot of money. It was a, it was a really affordable amount of money and he was totally happy to pay that even if.
You'll never use it. And over the lifetime of his business, he'll probably spend 10,000 pounds. I'm just plucking that number out of thin air 10,000 pounds on insurance. And he's not used it once, but it provided him the capability to sleep at night. Yeah. And
David Waumsley: [00:34:11] I've seen with other people reporting the kind of the amount that they're paying is similar with our friend it's within that kind of 20 to $30 range per month.
And somebody else mentioned as well in the WP Builds group. That they're, what they're paying out in insurance is 1% of their, turnover, I think, you know, so it wasn't a great deal of money. So maybe we're falls, Nathan,
Nathan Wrigley: [00:34:36] I think, I think honestly, we are. I think we've got to change our ways, David, I think we've talked ourselves into, into going and buying some insurance.
Now, the question is which insurance do we buy and for how much, how much is your business worth? Do you want to go for like the 10 million ceiling rail? 100,000? What is that? How do you even decide. Well,
David Waumsley: [00:34:57] I know I'm going to think of this smashing magazine article starts off with citing that you took full cover on something could be for something that their site impounds, I think it was a hundred thousand pounds running into millions.
And as soon as you read that at the beginning of the article, that you're kind of, I'm surprised I got to the end of it, you
Nathan Wrigley: [00:35:14] know? Yeah. I honestly, I don't think anybody could come after me for a great deal of money simply because the thing that I'm delivering isn't worth a great deal of money. So. Yeah.
Okay. Well, I think we've decided that one then get yourself some insurance, David.
David Waumsley: [00:35:30] Yeah. I'd lost overnight.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:35:32] Well, I think that, well, not really because you know, I think we've both come to the same conclusion. Yeah. Alright. Should we knock it on the head?
David Waumsley: [00:35:41] Indeed?
Nathan Wrigley: [00:35:41] Okay. Bye. Bye. Well, I hope that you enjoyed that.
I always enjoy chatting with David about such things, really an area that I have no real expertise in, but it was interesting to see the kind of things that we come out with. Clearly, a lot of you will feel that this is absolutely necessary. You want to cover your back. Other people might think, well, I'm just putting money down the drain and I'm getting scared by the insurance salesman.
Either way. If you've got any thoughts on this, please comment [email protected]. You'll find the show notes episode at the top of the homepage, and then you can click on that and make some comments over there. Or head over to our Facebook group. WP builds.com forward slash Facebook. And over there, you'll be able to make comments on the thread concerning this particular episode.
I'd love to hear your thoughts. The WP builds podcast is brought to you today by AB split test. Do you want to set up your AB split test in record time? The new AB split test plugin for WordPress. We'll have you up and running in a couple of minutes. Use your existing pages and test anything against anything else.
Buttons, images, headers rows, really anything in the best parties. It works with element or Beaver builder and the WordPress at block editor. Check it out at AB split. test.com. Okie dokie. Hopefully we'll see you at some point during the next week. Next Thursday will be our podcast episode a bit like this, but it will probably be an interview.
And then of course, we've got the Monday weekly news, which I bring out at 7:00 AM, UK time. And also we do our live weekly news. 2:00 PM UK time, WP bells.com forward slash live. I'll be joined by some WordPress experts as we discuss the weekly WordPress news. And as I said at the top of the show, I'm joined by Sabrina's.
I'd done every Tuesday, 2:00 PM, UK time, same URL forward slash live. And we'll be discussing how it is that we're managing this week. Trying to get people to notice our plugins, right. I'm going to fade in some incredibly strange music this week. I hope that you enjoy it. Bye. Bye .

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Nathan Wrigley
Nathan Wrigley

Nathan writes posts and creates audio about WordPress on WP Builds and WP Tavern. He can also be found in the WP Builds Facebook group, and on Mastodon at wpbuilds.social. Feel free to donate to WP Builds to keep the lights on as well!

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