Claims-made Professional Liability Policy for Architects/Engineers
This is the most common type of policy for a Professional Liability policy. The less common type of policy is an occurrence policy.
What is a claims-made policy? It provides coverage only for claims made during the policy period and after the retroactive date. The claim, in most cases, is considered made when it is received and recorded by your firm or the insurance company. If the policy is not renewed by your firm or the insurance company there is an optional extended reporting period that can be purchased. If your firm no longer has a policy or extended reporting period and a claim is received it may not be covered by the policy.
The retroactive date is another important factor of a claims-made policy. The retroactive will be on the declarations page of the policy. It will state a specific date such as 1/1/2010. This is the date that coverage will be determined. If the project for the claim submitted was prior to this date then there may not be coverage. If there is a gap in coverage this may alter the retroactive date as well. If your firm has full prior acts coverage the insurance company is providing coverage from the start of your firm.
If your firm is switching from an occurrence policy to a claims-made policy verify with your insurance agent the retroactive date on the claims-made policy. If an occurrence policy is being replaced by a claims-made policy be sure your firm has an extended reporting period in place to avoid gaps in coverage and making a claim.
Most Professional Liability policies for architects/engineers are claims-made policies. Be sure to read your policy and ask your agent so your firm understands what type of policy you have. If you have questions please call or email your Professional Underwriter agent.