Virtual-Assistant-keyboard

New Liabilities for Virtual Assistants

Have you noticed the significant shift in the workplace lately, as managers begin to appreciate the value of off-site services from Virtual Assistants?

The benefits of being a Virtual Assistant include greater flexibility, spending less time and money commuting, a happier, more productive day and a chance to be your own boss.

For business, the cost of technology and telecommunication services to allow for remote work has also never been cheaper. This allows for greater flexibility in workforce management and reduced overheads such as office rental, equipment, superannuation and human resource management to name just a few. The business can now select the best-skilled worker for the job, no matter where they live.

An added benefit for the business is it can limit liability by contracting out the work to a Virtual Assistant. By taking on the work, a VA owes a “duty of care” to the business in the performance of the services. Any negligence, mistake or error in the services provided could result in a claim against the Virtual Assistant. For this reason, a Virtual Assistant should consider these insurance policies to protect themselves properly:

Professional Indemnity Insurance

This is likely to be the greatest risk for Virtual Assistants who provide professional services. The policy will cover legal costs to defend against allegations of a mistake in the advice provided and any resulting damages award or settlement amounts agreed to.

Here is a typical claim example:

A Virtual Assistant provides website management and social media updates on behalf of a business. A third party alleges the content of the post is misleading and deceptive and the third party sues the business. The business, in turn, joins the Virtual Assistant as a defendant to the action or the business may seek to redeem all associated costs and expenses from the Virtual Assistant after the claim is finalised.

Cyber Liability Insurance

Cyber liability is the fastest growing insurance risk in Australia. The policy will cover claims where a loss of personal data results in a breach of privacy or a hacker attacks the Virtual Assistant system.

Here is a typical claim example:

A Virtual Assistant provides bookkeeping services on behalf of a business. The Virtual Assistant’s system is hacked by a cyber criminal and the personal records of the business’s clients are stolen. The hacker also inserts malware to encrypt the system and a virus, which is passed back to the business and infects their system also. A cyber policy will cover the cost of a ransom payment, the costs to restore and recollect any lost data, the costs to remove malware and fix your system and any business your system infected and the loss of income during the downtime, as a result of the hack.

Public Liability Insurance

Public liability insurance covers the Virtual Assistant if they cause bodily injury or property damage to a third party. However, most Virtual Assistants wouldn’t usually be that hands-on nor have foot traffic. This presents a significantly lower exposure and would result in greatly reduced insurance costs. It’s important to remember that many domestic home insurance policies will specifically exclude any claims resulting from business-related services.

Here is a typical claim example:

A work-related delivery is sent to your home, it could be documents, products, samples etc. The delivery person falls and suffers a serious back injury as the handrail on the stairs to the front door gives way. The delivery person sues the Virtual Assistant for bodily injury claiming negligence for a poorly maintained and unsafe handrail. The policy would cover legal costs and damages award against the Virtual Assistant

Some businesses will require the Virtual Assistant to maintain a minimum level of insurance cover before they can even commence working. We expect this mandatory requirement to keep growing, as the use of Virtual Assistants continues to grow with it.

Each individual Virtual Assistant’s insurance needs will be unique and we’ll work with you to find the best possible protection.

For a FREE ‘’no obligation’’ discussion about your insurance needs, get in touch with Amy O’Sullivan from Adroit Insurance Group on amyo@adroitig.com.au or call 03 5331 8317.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *