Architects are among a select group of professionals that must contend with some key property and liability insurance coverage issues when providing their services to clients. For this reason, they need to address any concerns by initiating a detailed discussion of the available options for professional liability insurance for architects because this is the coverage needed to protect them against claims of errors and omissions (E&O) in the course of providing their services.
Architects professional liability insurance
This insurance provides coverage for liability in the event your duties as an architect results in injury or financial loss to your client or others. For example, a design flaw in the construction of a building’s walkway support beams or tie rods could create a situation in which, due to faulty construction or a misjudgment in the planning or execution of the project, the walkway collapses killing or injuring people.
In a subsequent lawsuit filed by the victims, a judge could determine that the fault lay in the plans as laid out by the architectural firm. While this example may be somewhat extreme, it fully illustrates the sort of claims that could occur and further demonstrates the potential severity of the type of risks architects may often face.
In another example, the architect’s plans for a hospital could fail due to materials used in the construction of the elevators. The contractor may have installed the wrong type of steel tubing as per the instructions received. In this instance, the cost of replacing the steel tubing could quite easily be millions of dollars.
The difference between “claims made” and “prior acts” coverage
Professional liability insurance for architects is usually written on a “claims made” basis, meaning that coverage applies to the insurance policy in effect when the claim is made against the insured no matter when the injury may have occurred. Most “claims made” policies provide coverage subject to a retroactive date. When a retroactive date is listed on a “claims made” policy, there is no coverage for any claim arising out of any error or omission that takes place prior to the retroactive date.
You may need to seek expert insurance advice in order to completely tailor your own insurance program to meet your own specific needs.