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Smart Answers

Q: What insurance do I require as a Web designer? --G.B., Palo Alto, Calif.

A: All businesses need property and general-premises and operations insurance, including workers' compensation. But as a Web designer you must be covered for unique risks. What if an e-commerce site you designed goes down? Or if a client's site has a security breach? You could be held responsible. You might even be named in a "trade dress" suit for copyright infringement if you were to design a site too similar to one you saw elsewhere.

Rick Hagemeier of Bolton & Co. insurance brokers, a Pasadena (Calif.) brokerage, suggests buying general liability with advertising-injury coverage in case you get dragged into a lawsuit arising from an ad that runs on a site you've designed. You should also have an errors-and-omissions policy. Minimum costs for a $1 million policy run $2,500 annually with a $5,000 deductible for a basic package, but can reach as high as $10,000 with a $10,000 deductible if you add other coverage. Check out Bolton's Web site (www.insurepoint.com). Marsh Inc. (www.netsecuresite.com) also specializes in insurance for tech companies. The Web presents as many risks as opportunities, so make sure you're protected. Have a question about running your small company? Send an e-mail to frontier.businessweek.comBy Karen E. Klein


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