Architect's Liability Insurance

As an architect, you make thousands of decisions every day. Also, these decisions may constantly be revised by clients, who might also make some sudden changes due to budget. But what if your decision turns awry, and your client sues for that? Not only monetary but will also hurt your reputation as well.
Architects’ professional indemnity Insurance safeguards you in the event of an error or omission on your part. Further, the insurance policy would assist you in defending the claim and cover the legal costs, if any.
Now let’s have a look at some of the scenarios where architects’ professional indemnity Insurance can help you:

1. Negligence or Breach of Duty

As an architect, you could be sued if the other party incurs losses by acting upon your bad advice. If you have prepared a design work for your client which is faulty, a legal suit can be brought against you.

2. Infringement of Intellectual Property Rights

It could include allegations that you have used the copyright design without the owner’s permission or used the content of a publication or website without permission.

Read more: A guide to lawyers’ indemnity insurance

3. Breach of Confidence

A legal suit can be filed against an architect if he/she shares sensitive or confidential information without consent.

4. Defamation

If an architect makes false or damaging claims about a person, he/she could be sued for this.
Many young architects get the surprise of their lives when they learn that an architect can be held liable for the negligence of others working on the project or estimate or delay in construction. Further, the claims can also be based on planning or studies, and it is not necessary for the architect to be the main architect of the project. Moreover, a client can refuse to pay for the work and hold the architect liable for negligence.
Professional liability claims can also arise as the result of a failure to manage expectations, particularly, when the client has little experience with construction projects. Though their understanding of an architect’s scope of work and the quality & timing of the final product may be vague, that doesn’t mean the claim will not be filed.
Many times, it happens that an architect is reluctant to explain delays or cost overruns to their client, hoping that they will ‘pace up in the future. However, that lack of communication may give rise to a bigger surprise for the client. Even if an architecture firm has skills and expertise on a certain project type, too many commitments can result in clients’ frustration and lack of trust. These are such situations that can give rise to professional liability claims and that too when there is no failure on the part of the architect to design a safe building.

Also read: Is professional indemnity insurance worth

Minimizing Costs
By opting for architects’ professional indemnity Insurance, it is feasible to curtail the monetary loss that otherwise you would have to bear on your own. Usually, professional indemnity insurance for architects includes the following:

  • A negligent act or omission
  • Civil liability
  • Irrecoverable loss
  • Defence costs
  • Unintentional defamation
  • Bodily injury or property damage
  • Loss of third-party documents or data
  • Legal expenses
  • Breach of confidentiality

Go with Occurrence Professional Indemnity Policy

This year, the Maharashtra government has ruled that all those people who are involved in the construction of a building, including the architect, would be liable for any structural defects or flaws that would occur within ten years after the building is built. It means, there is a high chance that you could be sued after many years. Therefore, it is essential to purchasing occurrence-made architects’ professional indemnity Insurance to get complete coverage.

An occurrence policy safeguards the policyholder from any event which occurs during the policy tenure, irrespective of the fact when the claim is filed. It means the occurrence insurance policy will cover those events as well which come into effect after the insurance policy has been cancelled as long as the incident happened during the tenure in which the coverage was active.

No one is perfect, and therefore, people like architects can also make mistakes. So, buy architects’ professional indemnity Insurance to get protection against professional mistakes. Indeed, it is the best way to get peace of mind!