BY THE NUMBERS
3 Statistics to Build Your Risk Management Plan By

Being an engineer, architect, or other type of design professional requires lots of planning. When you add running a business to the mix, there’s even more to think about – and as with buildings you design and systems you develop, there’s always the possibility of business ventures not working out as planned. This page offers a flowchart to help make planning the insurance part of your business a little easier, along with some real-world numbers that illustrate the kinds of risks that threaten businesses like yours every day. Read on to get an idea of the risks you face and how business insurance can help you manage them.

A Blueprint for Strong Businesses:
Coverage Infographic


A Blueprint for Strong Businesses: Coverage for Architects, Engineers, and Designers

Infographic: Finding Insurance Coverage

As an architect, engineer, or interior designer, you know better than most that the devil is in the details. Your industry is all about precision: exact measurements, precise materials, and expert flourishes that transform a building into an artful, functional space. And because details are central to your work, an oversight or miscalculation can truly devastate a project. When you're dealing with the investments of high-end clients or cities, you can't afford these mistakes. Unfortunately, accidents happen, and you've got to be prepared. With adequate insurance, you have the peace of mind that your business can survive a costly lawsuit. Let this flowchart act as a visual introduction to the policies you may need to shield your firm from the high cost of liabilities, property damage, and more.

Business Ownership Is a Great Opportunity for Architects & Engineers

Business Ownership Is a Great Opportunity for Architects & Engineers

21%
More than 21% of architects work as sole practitioners, a rate nearly three times the average for all professions.
17%
Architect employment opportunities are expected to grow 17% by 2022.
15%
Contract Engineers can earn 10 – 15% more than the market rate for permanent employees.

More and more architects are striking out alone and starting a business, and demand is expected to grow in the coming years (though so is competition, as more people get certified to meet this demand). Engineers, too, can benefit from working for themselves, as pay for contract engineers tends to be higher than what full-time employees earn. But business ownership and independent contract work come without the safety nets provided by an employer. If you’re starting out on your own, be sure your practice is covered by essential General Liability and Professional Liability Insurance.

Managing Client Relationships Is Challenging for Architects & Engineers

Managing Client Relationships Is Challenging for Architects & Engineers

66%
of claims against architects come from clients.
88%
of architects cite "scope creep" as a major source of conflict.
51%
For private construction projects, 51% of risks involve technical, design, and engineering issues.

Every architect and engineer has had to deal with difficult clients. But in addition to the headache they might cause, client disputes can seriously threaten the financial wellbeing of a business if they lead to lawsuits.

  • How do you avoid client lawsuits? It's important to practice good communication and nip any problems in the bud, including troubles over the scope of your work.
  • What preventive measures can you take? Make sure your contracts and communications always clearly define what is and isn't involved in a project and prevent these scope issues from becoming an Errors and Omissions lawsuit. In addition, find out at the beginning of a project whether you're expected to oversee work through construction, as many construction-related risks involve design, meaning you could be named in a lawsuit.

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