Built to Last
A Business Insurance Guide for Architects, Engineers, and Design Professionals

Chapter 1: What's at Stake for Your Solo Architecture, Engineering, or Design Business?
Part 1: How Business Insurance Works

Business insurance shields your solo practice's assets from potential losses. A business asset can be anything that helps your business function, such as…

  • Property.
  • Equipment.
  • Income.

Any time one of your business assets is harmed, your business suffers a loss — a loss you'd have to endure on your own if you don't have coverage. With adequate business insurance, the financial responsibility shifts from you to your insurance provider, meaning the carrier picks up the tab for covered property damages and lawsuits.

New to the world of business insurance? Here are the basic components that make your policies tick:

  • Your premium. This is the sum of money you pay to your insurance provider in order to receive benefits. It's usually paid monthly, biannually, or annually. As long as you pay your premium, your insurance provider will uphold the terms of your insurance policy.
  • Your deductible. If you make a claim on your policy, you'll need to pay a deductible. A deductible is a predetermined sum of money that you must pay before your insurance benefits kick in.
  • Your policy's stated limits. Every insurance policy includes a policy limit. This is the maximum amount of money your insurance provider will pay toward a claim. You may need higher or lower limits depending on your risks, revenue, and client contracts.
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Your small business insurance needs depend on your risks, assets, and client contracts.

As a design professional, you are highly trained and highly skilled, which means others rely on your expertise. Even the smallest projects require you to make complex decisions. You're often responsible not only for designing projects, but also for…

  • Supervising construction.
  • Maintaining an office.
  • Satisfying clients.
  • Ensuring the public's safety and welfare.

Architectural, engineering, and design firms understand this. That's why they carry business insurance as a way to reduce the risks associated with these responsibilities. Unfortunately, your responsibilities don't diminish very much when you work for yourself. Neither do the costs associated with failing to fulfill those duties and expectations.

As a solo professional, securing a solid business insurance plan is the first step toward mitigating your own risks and losses. But it's so much more than that! Business insurance boosts your professionalism, allows you to address many risks at once, and shows your community that you are optimistic about your business's future.

NEXT: Part 2: Identifying Your Engineering, Architectural, or Design Business's Risks

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Built to Last: A Business Insurance Guide for Architects, Engineers, and Design Professionals
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