What to Be Aware of as the Prime Consultant on a Project
As the prime consultant on a project your design firm holds the contract with the owner or developer on the project and takes on more responsibility than being a sub consultant on a project. Here are some areas to be aware of as your firm navigators this role.
The contract is the first place to start. What are your responsibilities and scope of services, on the project and what are your sub consultant’s responsibilities. This must be made very clear in the contract. Have your attorney review the contract and negotiate terms that work for your firm as well as the owner. Additionally, the insurance company can review the contract for insurability of those terms.
Once the contract phase is complete and your firm is hiring the sub consultants verify, before hiring the sub, that they have the insurance coverages that meet the requirements of the contract. If there are not requirements for the sub consultants in the contract then make sure the sub is carrying the same policies and limits as your firm is required to carry. Additionally, make sure your firm always has updated certificates of insurance for all of your sub consultants.
As a reminder because your firm is the prime on the contract your firm will have vicarious liability of the sub consultants working for you. This may also affect your Professional Liability premium since the billings are ‘pass through’ billings of your sub consultants.
There are many moving parts when it comes to being the prime on a project. Be sure your firm knows all of the expectations in the contract from your project owner prior to starting a project. Additionally, know what your insurance policies are and if you carry adequate coverage. If you do have questions please call or email your Professional Underwriters agent.