Contracts for Architects and Engineers
Contracts are a vital prior to the start to a project and the strength of that contract is equally as important. While most attorney’s and insurance companies say it is better to have something in writing rather than a verbal agreement. They both also agree that it is best to have a strong contract that protects your architecture/engineering firm.
While insurance companies can review a contract for insurability, it is best to also have an attorney not only draft a contract but to review your client drafted contract. In most cases it is best to use your firms own contracts but that isn’t always going to be the request of your client. If your firm is not able to use your contract, always have the insurance company review the clients’ contract but also your firms’ attorney. There are items that your client may want to include in the contract that may not be insurable or are very broad in scope.
If your firm isn’t using an association’s contract, such as AIA, an attorney that is familiar with the construction industry can draft a contract for your firm. There are a few reasons this is good for your firm. For one, the attorney is knows the local laws that would be applicable to your firm and the project. Second, the attorney is there to make sure your firm is not adding liability to your firm when working on the project.
Association contracts are also a great resource for contracts. The associations often work with attorneys, insurance companies and industry experts to draft contracts. There also may be a variety of contract types depending on the project your firm is working on.
The most important piece to remember is it is best to have a contract rather than a verbal agreement. There are many resources available to help with contracts. If you do have questions please call or email your Professional Underwriters agent.