Do I need Professional Liability as an architect or engineer?
This question does come up from time to time in certain circumstances. Sometimes as an architect or engineer you may think what you do is considered low risk services. But keep in mind that any ‘work’ that you do is considered a risk.
There are times that no matter what you did on the project every firm that worked on the project may get a claim letter. The Professional Liability policy provides defense coverage in the case that you did receive a claim letter, even though every demand does not involve the work your firm did. Your firm will still need to respond to the claim and that is where the insurance company comes in.
Occasionally there are architects or engineers just doing forensic work such as reports and opinions. There is still risk in this situation because you have to adhere to the standard of care when provide a report or opinion. Keep in mind that when an insurance company is providing a premium quote they do take into consideration these ‘lower risk’ types services when rating your policy. The insurance companies do give credits for things like feasibility studies and reports.
Even if you are a sub consultant and you think that the architect of record has all of the risk that isn’t always true. Your firm has a contract with that architect of record and if that architect is sued they could potentially (or their insurance company) turn around and sue your firm for the error or omission. This can happen even if your firm didn’t have the direct contract with the client.
If you are an employee of a firm, in this case you will not need your own policy, you are covered by the firm you are employed by. It is suggested that you verify that the firm is indeed insured and covers you as an employee. If you are ‘moonlighting’ and doing work on the side, that is the work that you will need to get your own Professional Liability policy for, it would not be covered under your employer’s policy.
As always your PUI Agent is here to help you with the Professional Liability concerns and questions. Please call or email with any questions you may have.