Architects and the Need for E&O Coverage
The exposures that architects face are broad to say the least. As their daily operations involve designing, planning, and implementing structures for clients, there is no shortage of potential error one can make, as unintentional as they may be. While a basic insurance portfolio is carried by many professionals, it’s important to note that Professional Liability for Architects is affordable and a necessity in protecting their operations.
It is likely that a company that is inquiring about this coverage has likely been approached about some shortcomings in their work or has been asked to complete a high-budget, high-risk job. In these circumstances, this coverage is imperative as it provides protection for any errors in judgment and omissions on your clients’ behalf. Furthermore, your clients need to be informed that commercial general liability does not typically include such coverage. While many architects may think they are fully protected, CGL is a basic policy that does not extend coverage for any of the issues mentioned.
In addition, professional liability provides assistance for legal fees, which is arguably the most important component. Even if the firm is small, they are not immune to claims of negligence. As small businesses don’t often have the capital to pay these fees, these lawsuits could devastate their business. With this protection, however, your clients can rest assured. According to Architectural Record, the insurance company can provide a lawyer to help the architect gather and retain necessary documentation, and avoid taking subsequent actions that could weaken the architect’s defense.
While some claims can be prevented, not all issues can be foreseen. Oftentimes, clients have unrealistic expectations of the architect or expect delivery on at timeline that is not feasible. These simple discrepancies can result in errors and omissions claims for the architect. With the help of an insurance professional, risks can be mitigated, consultation can be provided on a regular ongoing basis, and contracts can be reviewed to minimize potential damages and claims.
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