Even the best-laid plans can go awry. And as an engineer, your day-to-day actions can involve many different types of jobs. There are engineers who build skyscrapers and museums. Some design machinery and develop new mechanical innovations. And some handle city layouts and oversee public events. And mitigating their diverse range of risks can be tough.
Thankfully, our independent insurance agents are up to the task. They’ll help eliminate the hassle of searching on your own by walking you through a hand-picked selection of top business insurance policies to cover both you and your employees. But first, let’s talk about the risks and the coverages you need to consider before taking that next step.
Business Risks for Engineers
While all businesses have their own share of risks, the world of engineering is a bit more complicated. Even within the profession, there are a number of different types of engineers who work on all sorts of projects.
If you manage an engineering firm, you need a comprehensive insurance policy that can mitigate both standard business risks and those specific to the work that you do.
It’s important to work with an agent who can both help evaluate your risks and identify the types of coverage you need to protect what you do.
Standard Forms of Engineering Insurance
- General liability insurance: If your client, an employee, or a contractor claims you or your employees caused bodily injury or property damage, this coverage pays compensation and legal defense costs. Typically, accusers make a claim first, but some may instantly resort to legal action.
- Professional liability insurance: This coverage provides liability insurance for "errors and omissions." If the engineering services you provide result in a loss, or your advice leads to a client’s loss, your professional liability coverage helps cover your claims.
- Design insurance: Many engineers work purely in the design field and therefore require policies to insure against risks common to that phase of the process.
- Design professional liability insurance: This protects you and your business from claims that your designs are somehow faulty.
- Design liability insurance: This protects you and your business from claims that your designs caused personal injury or property damage.
- Design build insurance: This is for the engineers who do it all — from designing the project to completing its construction. It protects you from claims that either your design or the construction caused a client or third party harm.
- Workers' compensation: Although you may not be at high risk for on-site injuries, your employees who work to complete a project could be in danger. If an employee is injured while working, this policy assists with medical expenses and provides some lost wages, depending on the law in your state. This also limits a worker’s right to sue you for negligence related to the injury.
- Property insurance: If your office catches fire or you suffer a break-in, this policy pays for damage and replacements.
- Equipment breakdown insurance: If you have equipment and computers that are vital to your operation, you can insure that property against breakdowns and malfunctions, whether due to mechanical or electrical failure.
- Business owner’s policy: A business owner policy, or BOP, may be a suitable option if your engineering firm runs a low-risk operation. Combining general liability insurance with property insurance, which protects your building and professional equipment, is a great way to save money and get comprehensive coverage.
- Umbrella insurance: This is extra liability insurance that provides additional coverage above and beyond your general liability insurance policy.
Engineer Professional Liability Insurance
As an engineer, your professional liability risks are significant. It only takes a small mistake or error in judgment to throw off an entire project. A safety concern could be introduced by a change of building plans, or a delay by mismanagement and employee turnover.
"Errors and omissions insurance," or E & O, protects you against legal claims in a number of scenarios.
- You neglect to warn clients of potential problems with a project.
- The services you provide inadvertently cause a business owner to make decisions that result in a loss.
- You cut corners to meet a deadline, which results in needing repairs down the road and having to temporarily close operations.
- You make a mistake in your calculations that results in some type of catastrophic failure.
A lawsuit is very expensive and can cause severe financial challenges for your business without the right protection. Engineer professional liability insurance covers your legal defense fees. If the court rules in the client’s favor, your insurance can also help to pay the settlement or judgment amount.
Remember, if you work in the design phase of engineering, there are design professional liability insurance policies developed specifically for your field. Be sure to work with an experienced insurance agent, who will ask you the right questions and match you with the appropriate policy recommendations.
You should also be aware of what your coverage limits are and how they work in specific situations. If the settlement amount is $2 million but you only have $1 million of liability insurance, you’re responsible for the remaining $1 million. Some client contracts will specify a desired amount of insurance. You may also want to consider business umbrella insurance for additional liability protection.
Finding and Comparing Engineering Insurance Quotes
Our agents will review your needs and help you evaluate which engineering insurance policy makes the most sense. They'll also compare policies and quotes from multiple insurance companies to make sure you have the best protection out there. They'll hook you up — in a comprehensive and affordable way.
What's So Great about an Independent Insurance Agent?
Independent insurance agents have experience in dealing with all kinds of businesses and insurance policies. They excel at matching the most appropriate policy to the business in need. Shopping around for insurance policies can be tricky, confusing, and time-consuming, and an independent insurance agent's role is to simplify the process.
They’re also there to help make sure you get the absolute best deal, and the one that meets your unique needs. They shop and compare insurance quotes for you, and they'll break down all the jargon so that you understand exactly what you're getting.