As an architect, you’re responsible for bringing designs to life. From conception to realization, you’re part of the process of creating an architectural structure that people will use for many years to come. Your work must meet client expectations, and there's risk involved in that. All businesses have certain risks associated with their field. The right kind of insurance protects you and your business, but how do you know which policy is right for you?
An architect possesses critical skills and responsibilities. Not only do you have to develop an efficient and aesthetically pleasing structure, but you’re also normally responsible for the implementation of the design. While we always want things to go according to plan, you may have worked on enough projects by now to understand that things often stray off course. There’s a popular saying that goes “Hope for the best and prepare for the worst.” Architect insurance helps you prepare for the worst.
Here are just a few risks that architects may encounter:
While insurance can’t thwart the challenges involved in your daily work, it can help you if a customer blames you for problems that occur within the project. The right insurance plan, from standard business insurance to liability coverage and professional indemnity insurance for architects, is very valuable.
The architect insurance you need depends on whether you work as an independent or you run an architectural firm. Some of the basic business coverages you may need to protect your company include the following:
Note that workers' compensation laws vary by state and that you may be required to carry this coverage even if you do not have employees. Be sure to discuss your business insurance needs with an independent agent who can make sure you are in compliance in your state.
What if a project is not completed as promised or you fail to complete a project on time or on budget? Delays or other unexpected problems can be costly for your clients. You can be sued for errors or professional negligence that harm your clients, and one lawsuit can be financially devastating.
Design professional liability insurance, or errors and omissions (E&O) insurance, provides the financial security and peace of mind you need. It provides coverage for architects, their partners, their employees, and the partnership or corporation for damage caused by providing or failing to provide professional services. It covers costs associated with your legal defense if you are sued (even if the lawsuit is unfounded) as well as any judgments or settlements that you must pay. Clients may want to see proof that you have design liability insurance before they hire you.
Architects can be sued for professional negligence for a variety of reasons such as the following:
Whether you are a large architectural firm or a sole proprietor, design professional liability insurance is a wise and often necessary part of doing business.
Design-build insurance provides professional liability coverage for firms that act as the designer and the general contractor for a construction project. It typically covers claims for damage to the project itself as well as claims for bodily injury and property damage that arise during both the design and the construction phase. These situations are becoming more prevalent, and companies engaged in large construction projects with a broad scope of responsibilities and risks need to work carefully with an experienced insurance agent to find the right coverage.
Finding quotes for coverage isn't always easy. There are a few steps you can take to make this process fast.
When you're prepared, shopping for coverage is easy. You may even be surprised at how affordable your architect insurance can be when you do some research first. Contact your local Trusted Choice® Independent Insurance Agent for more information.