IT Pro Sets Snow Plough on Fire: Over 14.000 euro in Damages!
Instead of clearing snow from the streets, a snowplough goes up in smoke on the side of the road. And an IT expert is to blame? While mistakes such as incorrect programming, typos or a wrong click usually get IT experts into trouble, in this case - which also happened to an exali policyholder - it was a slightly different story ...
A Very Combustible Mistake ...
So how did it come about that things got pretty hot for a snowplough operator in the dead of winter? A road maintenance company commissioned our policyholder - an IT service provider - to install telematics for winter services in a clearing vehicle. The telematics documents, for example, which roads a clearing vehicle has already treated or cleared, and transmits the data directly to the responsible authority. Employees no longer have to take care of the time-consuming documentation themselves.
And this is where an employee of the IT service provider comes into play: he was commissioned to install the telematics in the clearing vehicle. It was planned that the power supply of the system would run through the seat heating of the road vehicle. Instead of connecting the connection cable to its fuse output, the IT specialist connected it to the fuse input ...
When a Snowplough Runs Hot ...
Nothing happened for a couple of weeks, but then suddenly there was an incident. The snowplough driver first noticed a scorched smell, then the vehicle began to release smoke. The reason for this? The junction box on the front bumper of the truck had a defect that led to a short circuit, independently of the faulty work of the IT employee. This would have had no consequences if the IT service provider had connected the cable correctly. The fuse would have popped out and prevented the vehicle from overheating. But since the cable was connected ahead of the fuse, she could not react. As a result, the cable overheated, began to smoulder and ultimately smoke.
The fact that the snowplough did not burn to the ground completely is thanks to the snowplough driver. When he noticed the thick smoke, he was quick-witted and flipped the main battery switch immediately. As a result, the entire electrical system was no longer live and it was possible to prevent the clearing vehicle from further overheating.
Insurance Offers a Cool-down
Even if the unexpected hot seat fortunately had no consequences for the snowplough operator, the damage to the snowplough was substantial: Around 14.000 euros plus 1.300 euros in expert assessment costs were demanded from the IT service provider!
Good thing that he was covered by exali.com’s Professional Indemnity Insurance for Digital Professions. This provided the necessary cool-down after the fiery property damage and took over the indemnity claims.
General and Personal Liability = an Important Component
A general and personal indemnity insurance is an important part of a good professional indemnity. Because - as this damage event shows - IT professionals can also cause property damage. It doesn't always have to be as unusual as a burning snowplough. All it takes is a PC that breaks, or the classic scenario: the water spill all over a keyboard. Regardless of whether these mishaps occur as a result of the job itself, when using an aerial drone, at a customer appointment, on business trips, at trade fairs or in your own office - IT experts are comprehensively protected in the event of personal injuries and property damage through general and personal liability insurance.
Calculate your premium and get your professional indemnity insurance online in just a few steps here:
Who am I?
After a traineeship and a few years in corporate communications, I now work at exali as editor-in-chief of the online editorial department and am responsible for all content.
What do I enjoy?
Summer, travel, good food and football.
What do I dislike?
Travel by train, Brussels sprouts and slime.