What does my architecture/engineering firm need to do in the event of a claim or circumstance?  First and foremost your firm needs to report the claim or circumstance immediately to your agent or insurance company.

After the claim or circumstance is reported the insurance company claims representative will be in contact with your firm to discuss the situation further.  At that point your firm may be asked to provide additional information such as the contract and drawings on the project.

Your insurance policy does state your duties as a firm when you have a claim; here are a few examples of the assistance and cooperation of your firm:

Example one:

Assistance and Cooperation

  1. The Insured will cooperate with the Company and upon the Company’s request, attend hearings, depositions and trials and assist in effecting settlements, securing and giving evidence, obtaining the attendance of witnesses and in the conduct of suits and proceedings in connection with a claim.
  2. The Insured will assist in the enforcement of any right of contribution or indemnity against any person or organization who or which may be liable to any Insured in connection with a claim.
  3. The Insured will not, except at the Insured’s own cost, voluntarily make anypayment, assume or admit any liability or incur any expense without the prior written consent of the Company. The Company shall have no obligation to pay or reimburse any person or entity for sums expended to defend any claim otherwise covered under this policy prior to written notice of such claim being received by the Company.
  1. The Insured will first obtain the Company’s written consent prior to exercising any right under a contract to reject

Example two:

The Insured will cooperate with the Company and, upon the Company’s request:

  1. assist in the defense and settlement of Claims;
  2. assist in enforcing rights of contribution or indemnity against any person or entity which may be liable to the Insured because of a Wrongful Act; and
  3. attend hearings and trials and assist in securing and giving evidence and obtaining the attendance of witnesses.

It is important to communicate with the claims representative and if they do ask for additional information provide that to them as soon as possible.  If you have questions about your firm’s duties please contact the insurance company or your Professional Underwriter agent.claim or circumstance