5 Ways to Protect Your Architecture, Engineering, or Design Business
Perhaps you’ve just opened your architecture, engineering, or design business. Or maybe
6 Costly Business Protection Myths for Architects, Engineers, & Design Professionals
Most startup and small-business owners have a lot at stake—particularly in the
Architects, Engineers, & Design Professionals: 4 Things to Know Before Purchasing Insurance
The professional risks—and the subsequent business insurance needs—of architects
We offer a variety of insurance coverage types specifically designed for design firms, engineers, and architects.
General Liability Insurance for Engineers, Architects, and Design ProfessionalsDon’t allow allegations made by a client to have a negative impact on your small engineering, architecture, or design business. Let insureon provide your small business with the financial protection it needs. No matter how successful your work may be, the only way to prevent financial detriment to your business is by purchasing General Liability Insurance. Should a client allege that you or your employees caused them to suffer financially, the reimbursement will come directly from your business and your income unless you have General Liability Insurance.
We understand that not all design, architecture, and engineering firms are exposed to similar risks; however, our insurance carriers classify them together for policy-writing purposes. If your company generally faces minimal risks, your business could fit the criteria for our Business Owner’s Policy (BOP) package. This package includes both General Liability Insurance and Property Insurance for one discounted premium. Consult with your agent to learn if your business meets the qualifications.
Some states necessitate independent contractors, including architects, to have their own general liability policy. Our architecture business experts can help you discern your state’s requirements and assess your business to find out how much coverage you need. We guarantee that we can provide you with an adequate general liability policy at the most competitive price.
Keep in mind that General Liability only pays for fees incurred by damages committed by you or your employees. General Liability Insurance does not cover you if you personally are claimed to have failed on your professional duties. Professional Liability coverage will protect you in the event that your client feels that you have been professionally negligent.
If you hire contractors, be certain that they have an insurance package of their own. If your state or client requires that your insurance extends to them as well, you will be responsible for incorporating them into your insurance policy.
Professional Liability Insurance / Errors & Omissions Coverage for Architects, Engineers, and Design ProfessionalsThe looming fear of a minor miscalculation turning into substantial monetary losses can be devastating to your business. Learn how to protect yourself from professional errors at a competitive price.
Errors and Omissions coverage protects your design, engineering, or architecture business if one of your clients should claim that your professional operations were the cause of its financial loss. For example, if a client completed a building to your specifications that over time has fallen victim to water and mold damage, he or she could allege that an error you made in providing your professional services caused a financial loss.
Or say you have completed a drainage project that over time proves insufficient and needs retrofitting. Your client may assert that you made an mistake which led to their financial loss. If your client decides to bring litigation against you—regardless of whether the damage was your fault—you will have no choice but to hire a legal team and may lose income and clients due to time spent in court.
E&O Insurance (aka Professional Liability Insurance) can cover your legal defense, lost revenue, court settlements, and other expenses as specified by your policy.
Errors and Omissions Insurance policies are allocated in installments of $1 million. In order for a claim to be covered, Errors and Omissions policies require that coverage must be established at the time of the alleged incident and in force when the claim is made. For this reason, it is wise to keep your policy in force even after you have completed a project.
Because your client may require that you carry Professional Liability coverage, be sure to read the fine print in your contract to be sure you have the amount specified.
Further, it’s important to carry Professional Liability Insurance even if you've never been sued. Despite your high-quality of work and the great relationships you have with your clients, you could still be accused of negligence.
Umbrella Insurance / Excess Liability Insurance for Architects, Engineers, and Design ProfessionalsWorried that your coverage might not be enough? Our experts will provide you with an affordable way to extend your insurance limits with architecture, engineering, and design Umbrella Insurance policies.
For example, say your client's contract requires you to carry $1 million in general liability coverage, but your General Liability policy only covers you for $750,000. You can purchase an Umbrella Insurance policy to meet your client’s requirements with small additional annual premiums.
Umbrella Insurance can be easily added to an underlying policy and is generally sold in coverage increments of $1 million.
If you are considering adding an Excess Liability policy and are having trouble deciphering your client's insurance requirements, insureon's architecture, design, and engineering insurance experts are ready to review the language in your contract and get you a fast quote to fit your needs. Our team can also run a risk analysis to determine your level of risk exposure.
Many engineers, design professionals, and architects choose to purchase their Umbrella policies from the same insurance agency that handles their underlying policies. Doing so can simplify coordination of benefits in the event that you need to make a claim.
Workers’ Compensation Insurance for Architects, Engineers, and Design ProfessionalsEven if you are the sole employee of your operation, you may be required by state law to carry Workers’ Compensation insurance. Our small business insurance experts are ready to help meet your Workers’ Comp Insurance requirements.
Even if Workers’ Compensation is not mandated by state government, it might be a good idea to purchase this coverage. While architects, engineers, and design professionals have a small probability of sustaining a work-related injury, your work may require your employees to go to dangerous construction sites.
Your client might also require you to carry a Workers’ Comp policy even if you are the entirety of your operation. Why? If you don't insure yourself, your client may be forced to cover you at his or her expense.
If you employ contractors, check to see whether or not your state requires you to cover them with Workers’ Comp Insurance. Either way, it may be smart to ensure that your contractors have their own Workers’ Compensation coverage.
- Don’t undervalue the importance of Workers’ Compensation Insurance.
Even if your small business is just you, it is still worth it to have Workers’ Compensation coverage. Should you hurt yourself at a site, your client’s insurance policy might not cover you. Prevent a lawsuit, or paying hospitals bills yourself by purchasing Workers’ Comp.
- Have a proactive relationship with your client to avoid lawsuits or conflicts.
Keep your clients informed of any significant changes to a project or any potential time delays before they happen. Letting clients know about problems in advance can prevent misunderstandings or allegations later.