Research consultants are responsible for conducting research that is targeted to a specific subject, and following their completed research, compiling it into a detailed report. As specialists in their respective fields, clients are commonly in the scientific field, but may also be found in engineering firms, government associations, or other types of industries. Research consultants have a passion for what they do, but should also be aware of certain risks and how to protect them. Risk exposures for this type of occupation include property damage for certain research projects, injury to your employees or clients as a result of accidents, professional mistakes, and a variety of other liabilities. Protect your risks with proper research consultant insurance.
Types of Research Consultant Insurance
A wide range of insurance policies exist for research consultants, each of which offers protection for different types of risks associated with being a research consultant. The following are the most common types of research consultant insurance policies:
One of the first insurance policies a research consultant will acquire is general liability insurance. This is the most general insurance policy that covers a variety of risks. Among those risks include premises liability and products liability. If a client is injured during your research, or you accidentally cause property damage while conducting research, you can be sued for these damages. General liability insurance offers protection against the cost of damages. For example, if you are doing research for a local science lab, but during your research you accidentally trip and knock over an expensive piece of scientific equipment, the client can sue you for property damage. General liability insurance helps you to cover the cost of replacing the equipment.
Workers comp insurance is required by law in most areas of the US, as a way to protect employees from work-related injuries or illness. Accidents can happen while conducting research, making workers comp insurance a vital policy. If you have an employee that is in an accident as a result of a research project, their medical expenses will be covered by workers comp and the policy also offers financial assistance while the employee is recovering and unable to work. As a business, you can also avoid lawsuits from employees when you have a workers’ comp insurance policy.
As a research consultant, you work as an independent contractor for your clients, and therefore use your vehicle often for business purposes. Accidents, theft, or vandalism that occurs while driving your vehicle for business tasks can cause financial strain, but commercial auto insurance will help with such costs. For example, if you are conducting research for an environmental firm and a large tree branch falls on your car, damaging the windshield, commercial auto helps to pay for the windshield replacement.
No matter how many insurance policies you have to protect yourself and research consulting company, there will always be coverage limits. Umbrella insurance fills in the gap of these limits, so that you have most risks covered. For example, if you damage very expensive equipment at a client’s place of business while researching, but your liability insurance only covers 75% of the cost, you are responsible for the remaining 25%. With umbrella insurance, you will have coverage for that remaining 25%.
Professional mistakes happen from time to time, even as a research consultant. If while conducting research you make a mistake that is costly to your client, they can turn around and sue you for damages. Professional liability insurance, also known as errors and omissions, offers protection for these types of lawsuits.
Insurance policies for research consultants help to protect yourself and your research business in order to avoid financial turmoil as a result of various risks. You can’t always avoid accidents or damages from errors, but you can get help paying for the costs of damages and other risk exposures with these research consultant insurance policies.