Clarke Williams Ltd Insurance Brokers
Compare Architects Professional Indemnity Insurance
As an Architect,you are the problem solvers, designers, planners and organisers often providing bespoke solutions. Let us do the same for you and review your Professional Indemnity Insurance.
It’s a diverse industry, but our specialist account managers have experience dealing with architects who design homes, offices and more.
Why Professional Indemnity Insurance?
Whatever type of work you do, the potential for making a mistake is always there. Unfortunately, we live in a blame culture. Professional indemnity Insurance covers a business for the cost of defending against allegations of professional negligence (such as giving your client incorrect or wrongful advice) and if unsuccessful, the cost of damages awarded against you.
Many companies are now making Professional Indemnity Insurance a compulsory condition of their tendering process, and will not hire any architect or practice that does not have a professional indemnity policy in place.
We can provide cover limits ranging from £100,000 - £10,000,000 and we have access to the following extensions of cover:
- Negligence or breach of duty of care – making a mistake in your work or giving bad advice.
- Disputes caused by your breach of a duty of care referred under the Housing Grants Construction and Regeneration Act 1996
- Loss of Documents
- Criminal defence costs relating to a regulation or statute which applies to your business, such as the CDM regulations
- Infringement of intellectual property rights – using content from a website or publication without permission
- Breach of confidence – sharing confidential or sensitive information without consent
- Negligent misstatement or misrepresentation – making a mistake or error when providing information
- Collateral warranty review services
- Mitigation Cover – costs incurred in remediating or mitigating a loss or potential loss that may otherwise result in a claim subject to specific requirements.
- Pollution Cover – claims arising out of the actual, alleged or threatened, sudden or accidental presence, discharge, dispersal, release, migration or escape of Pollutants other than asbestos, nuclear or radioactive material of any sort.
- Joint Ventures Cover – covers you against liability arising out of your professional services in respect of any joint venture, provided that you have previously declared to us all fees/turnover received from any joint venture subject to specific requirements
- Fraud & Dishonesty Cover
- Court Attendance Costs Cover
Not sure what else you need? The below guide might help.
Public and Public Liability Insurance, covers you for any bodily injury or property damage which arises in the course of your day today activities, such as visiting a client’s premise.
Employers’ liability Insurance is a legal requirement for all employers within the UK. The minimum required limit is £5,000,000 although most insurers give £10,000,000 as standard. The policy is designed to protect employees’ who sustain an injury or illness during their normal business activities by providing compensation.
Buildings & Contents Insurance. Cover your computers, equipment and other workplace property such as business records against fire, flood, theft and more so you can have peace of mind that you’re protected against the unexpected.
Business Interruption Insurance. We can help you get back to work after a crisis. Business Interruption can insure you against lost business income and any additional expenditure that you might have incurred following a loss.
Call 01732 252 898 or email us today for a comprehensive insurance policy at a competitive price.
The best way for us to understand your business and get the best premium back from the market is for you to complete our proposal form.
If you have already completed a proposal form, please feel free to send a copy to firstname.lastname@example.org
Alternatively if you renewal is not due yet, register with us now so that we can contact you nearer the time.
Register your renewal date
Our account managers will arrange Professional Indemnity and Liability policies at a competitive price with comprehensive wordings which are acceptable to your clients or Professional Body.
Professional Bodies for Architects in the UK
Some professional bodies give guidelines on what levels of insurance a company should hold. Below are the professional bodies that represent architects within the UK. It may be useful to consult with them if you do not know your requirements.
The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA)
RIBA is not a governing body but they do require members to hold Professional Indemnity Insurance. They represent the interests of the profession and provide qualifications, information, professional training and seminars.
Architects Registration Board (ARB)
This ARB is the governing body for architects. They set the guidelines and standards for architects providing professional services in the industry. Below is an outline of guidelines set by the ARB in relation to Architects Professional Indemnity Insurance:
- Minimum Limits of indemnity – For fee income that is less than £100,000 a minimum limit of indemnity of £250,000 must be held.
- Policy wording – Cover must be written on a civil liability basis.
- Limit of indemnity – The limits must be on an “any one claim/each and every claim” basis, and not aggregated during the policy period.
- Legal defence costs – Legal defence costs must be in addition to the limit of indemnity provided.
- Run-off cover – if the practice ever ceases, the partners must ensure that they purchase run-off cover. This must be held for at least six years.
Know your risk.
How do insurers calculate an Architects Professional Indemnity Insurance Premium?
When looking at an architect’s business, there are many factors that can affect the terms provided.
The fee income is an important rating factor when an underwriter is considering a Professional Indemnity Insurance premium, as it is the one element that all companies can be judged on.
The size and complexity of past and present contracts are taken into consideration. The insurers proposal form will ask you for details of the work in which you are involved in. Small home projects can be considered lower risk, as opposed to large hotel complexes or high rise offices.
Does the business carry out work for overseas clients? Specialist architects often find that their services are required on the other side of world, especially in countries trying to expand their tourism and business economies. The legal requirements in other countries can be very different to the UK, with countries such as the United States and Canada being more litigious. As a result this can affect the premium being offered.
Number of years trading and experience
Newly established architects can be seen as an increased risk to insurers as there is a lack of trading history to confirm a good claims experience or ability within the organisation. When presenting a risk to an insurer, it can be beneficial if a copy of the directors’ CV’s are provided, as this can present a better picture of the business or person being insured.
Activities and sectors will have their own rating of risk, and insurers will be interested in the types of projects and disciplines in which an architect is involved in. For instance,pre-planning designs for a new home would be considered very low risk compared to an architect that ismanaging a super basement in London. The reason for these different ratings is due to risk and size of the potential claim.
"It will never happen to me". Still not convinced? Have a look at the below claims examples for Architects:
We hope it will never happen, but here are some claims examples from the real world.
Problems in the construction of a new house caused delays and additional costs, leading to a claim against the architect who had been involved in planning, design and site inspection.
Amount paid: £82,000.
Allegation of Non-Compliant Designs.
The Insured designed a factory unit. The client alleged that the lighting was inadequate and did not comply with relevant BSI regulations. The insurer successfully defended the claim on the client’s behalf with only legal defence costs paid by the insurer.
Amount Paid: £25,000
An architect provided designs for a single-story extension and recommended a local builder that may be able to assist. The works were completed but it transpired later that the foundations and materials used were severely inadequate. The builder had gone bust and there was no one left in the chain, which only left the architect who was sued for his involvement.
Amount Paid: £8,000
Failure to seek planning permission
An architect was instructed to design a large shopping development. Although a planning permission request was received by the Local Authority, there was a mix up, which led to a failure to seek permission for the correct area.
Amount Paid: £40,000.
Clarke Williams Ltd are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority under reference 758683. The Financial Conduct Authority’s Register can be accessed through http://www.fca.org.uk/ . We are registered in England and Wales with Companies House under number 10317065. Our registered office address is 194 High Street, Tonbridge, Kent, TN9 1BE