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It's my first time to freelance for a web development project in general and I was thinking of offering insurance if ever the website crashes for any non-self-inflicted reason.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of offering insurance services? What should I keep in mind? What are the common mistakes in offering website insurances?

ATM, here's a very general idea of what the insurance would cover :

If your website crashes for any non self-inflicted reason, this insurance will cover the manpower needed to attempt to troubleshoot and fix the ongoing issue with your website

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    I think you need to define what the insurance would cover for any high quality answers. I'm not even certain what you would insure or how a claim would be filed by a client. – Scott Jan 14 '15 at 16:45
  • Good idea @Scott! Editing question. – Mark Gabriel Jan 14 '15 at 16:45
  • Ermm.. okay.. but how would a website crash, with an on-going issue if not self-inflicted?? All servers go down at times. Even the best host only states "99% uptime". What issues would specifically happen that would need to be insured and require "troubleshooting"? Most sites don't just fail. Are you referring to malicious hacking? Database injections? Just playing devil's advocate, but to me this sounds like the insurance you'd be talked into at a car rental -- it's not really needed, but heck if you'll pay for it, they'll take your money. – Scott Jan 14 '15 at 16:50
  • I see. How would you suggest I approach this? Ditch the idea altogether or be more specific? You can also put it up as an answer if you like. – Mark Gabriel Jan 14 '15 at 17:24
  • Well, I can't be specific about your idea. And I can't answer without knowing what it is you see as the item for sale. It may be a great idea, but how am I to know if you don't even know what the details are? – Scott Jan 14 '15 at 17:30
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If I understand well what you're proposing, you want to charge a monthly fee to give your costumer the commitment that you will fix some kinds of problems he might have, i.e. "crashes for any non self-inflicted reason". That is basically a specific kind of support contract, widely adopted in the field, and there's nothing wrong with the idea, I just don't see why call it "insurance". As long as what you want to cover in your support contract is clear, all should be fine and you should definitely sell it. If you already have a support contract that covers other problems, you can just offer an extension of the support for extra cases, at an additional cost, that the costumer can choose to hire or not. I would advise you to hire an IT lawyer to help polish the details, if you foresee having many costumers that you could offer this "support extension" to. Good Luck!

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Do you host the website on your hardware? If not, then don't offer the insurance.

What do you want to insure the client against? Maybe you better sign some agreement where you two will set your reaction time if something bad happens, and the client will pay monthly fee.

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  1. You cannot label this as "insurance" without the possibility of headaches. Be very careful
  2. How would you PROVE that the situation is or is not "self-inflicted"????
  3. What if the issue is that the server is turned off or disabled? If you are offering to absolutely fix it no matter what, this could backfire.
  • Could you add some actionable items, like above, to help mitigate some of these very potential risks for the OP? – Canadian Luke Jan 16 '15 at 0:10

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