The Importance of Having a Contract on Projects as Design Professional
While it might seem tedious to have a contract on every project, no matter how small, it is important.
Contracts provide both the project owner and Design Professional the expectations’ of the project going forward. It lays out the ground work of what the owner is responsible for and what the Design Professional is responsible for. Contracts do not have to be a long drawn out 100 page document, unless the project calls for it, it can be a one page document if needed. It really depends on the details that need to be included for the project.
A contract also allows the Professional Liability insurance company a document in which they can provide defense, if needed, in the case of a lawsuit. If everything is verbal and there isn’t a contract involved it becomes a ‘he said she said’ situation and very difficult for your design firm to be defended. Insurance companies and attorneys both, in the case of a lawsuit, can go back to the contract to discover what your firm was responsible for and if that matches what your firm is being sued for.
Lastly, if your firm is using contracts on all projects insurance companies may provide credits to your insurance premium as a part of the risk management services your firm has in place. Insurance companies think it is very important to have contracts for your firm and are willing to provide a break in your insurance premium if you are using contracts on all of your projects.
Remember there are many different types of contracts, associations, attorneys, and insurance companies can all provide resources for contracts, depending on the needs. You may also check with your PUI Agent for resources. Please call or email with questions