What should my sub consultants have for insurance on a project?
The general answer to the question is that your sub consultants should carry the same limits of liability and policies that your architecture/engineering firm is required to carry on the contract with your client.
While your sub consultant may not think they need insurance because your firm is the prime on the contract, they in fact, do need to carry insurance. Just because they are not signing the prime contract doesn’t mean that they don’t have liability. They are ‘working’ on the project and therefore have liability.
Additionally, requiring the same insurance of your sub consultant’s best protects your firm if there were to be a claim against your firm. If the error or omission actually came from your sub consultant’s work then your firm may be sued initially but that would then trickle down to your sub consultant with the error or omission. There also may be a requirement in your contract that sub consultants are required to have the same insurance as your firm.
Your prime contract may require Professional Liability, General Liability, Automobile Liability, Umbrella and Workers Compensation for insurance policies. Again, if your firm is required to have these policies then it should be a requirement of, not only the policy but the same limits, for your sub consultants. The only coverage that could potentially be waived is if the owners of the sub consultants firm do not have Workers Compensation on themselves. This is not a State requirement and therefore can be waived.
It is very important to keep up to date on your sub consultants insurance. This means getting the certificate of insurance when they start the project and getting updates when each policy renews.
Insurance will protect your firm not only for your own work but for the work of your sub consultants. Keep up to date on the certificates of insurance for each project. If you do have questions please call or email your Professional Underwriters agent.