There’s an important question that every architect, engineer, contractor and design professional needs to ask themselves—How do I minimize my risk of being sued by a client? Unfortunately, design professionals like you face a real risk of being sued for the work you do on a project if something goes wrong. Even if your work is perfect, there’s still a risk you could be drawn into a very costly lawsuit.
Professional liability insurance for architects, engineers and other design professionals is the best option for protecting you and your career against claims of negligence. However, a cookie-cutter policy may not be enough to lower your risk. Many policies don’t offer pre-claim resources or assistance, which could mean you’re exposed to excess risk from the beginning of a project due to a client’s poorly worded contract.
With Professional Liability Insurance for Architects and Engineers from Lockton Affinity, you get access to free professional contract reviews as a standard policy feature. It’s a combination of protections that can have a huge impact on your career. A good contract helps lower your risk at the outset of your projects, while broad insurance coverage helps shield you from the cost of claims for negligence.
What Is Professional Liability Coverage
Professional liability insurance protects you and your practice against claims of negligence for the design services that you provide to your clients. Claims can result in costly litigation to defend yourself, plus there’s the potential for judgements and settlements. Your coverage helps shield you and your business from these costs and provide for a professional and robust defense against these claims to protect your interests.
Professional liability serves several important functions. First, it allows you to stand behind your work. Clients can feel confident engaging with you for professional services, knowing that if something goes wrong, there is a path to a resolution. Clients also must worry about exposure to excessive risk, so by working with fully insured design professionals, their interests are also protected.
Secondly, professional liability insurance provides you with peace of mind for your business and your career. You can rest easy knowing that you are protected against a wide range of potential claims. Lockton Affinity coverage offers industry standard protections against claims of negligence, plus professional contract reviews, disabled partner replacement coverage, flexibility resolving settlement claims, and additional coverages for pollution, employee dishonesty and stand-alone cyber coverage, as well as options for additional coverage endorsements and policy solutions.
Why Are Contract Reviews Needed
Contract risk management is an important topic for design professionals. A good contract sets out expectations and roles in writing for a project, serving as a road map to solve problems if they occur. But a poorly worded contract can exacerbate problems and leave few options for resolution.
Problems in design contracts are not uncommon. Clients seek to provide themselves with as much protection as possible, often using generalized boiler-plate template verbiage that can cause problems for both you and the client.
A client may make honest mistakes in a contract, such as:
- Requesting to be named as an additional insured on your liability policy, potentially limiting their ability to make a claim against your policy.
- Asking for broad express warranties and guarantees or representations about your services that will expose you and the client to excessive risks.
- Requiring broad contract indemnity obligations far beyond the coverage of your policy that will be uninsurable and risky for you and the client.
- Stipulating an insurance policy purchase by the client on your behalf as part of the contract that would make filing a claim impossible.
- Introducing faulty insurance terminology errors into a policy, such as “primary” and “per-occurrence” coverage, creating excess risk exposure.
- Risking breach of contract liabilities, by introducing vague and indeterminate language surrounding contract liability cancellation notices.
- Stipulating highly specific future liability insurance coverage requirements that your practice can’t guarantee will always be available or affordable.
What Is Included with Professional Liability Contract Reviews
Lockton Affinity Architect and Engineer offers Professional Liability Insurance that is a cut above other industry offerings. As a Lockton Affinity policyholder, you have access to pre-claim resources and assistance that can help you better manage your risk even before you enter a new contract with a client.
With more than 30 years of experience providing tailored insurance solutions for design professionals like you, we know that professional contract reviews are crucial for managing design risk, so industry leader Marshall Dennehy has been chosen to assist with policyholder risk management services.
This service is complimentary for all professional liability policyholders on an opt-in basis. Simply call the provided 800 number and follow the prompts to opt in. For hotline inquiries, Marshall Dennehy will call your design practice back within 24 hours (excluding weekends and holidays) to confirm and assist.
For every new contract review, your Lockton Affinity Professional Liability policy will provide up to 2 hours of complimentary consultation services. If you are entering into a design contract of particular complexity that requires more than 2 hours of consultation, you may be presented with the option to enter into a separate engagement with Marshall Dennehy’s firm directly in order to pay any additional fees after the first 2 complimentary hours.
In the fast-paced design industry, customer service is more important than ever. At Lockton Affinity, we are committed to best-in-class customer service, with a dedicated team to support you from initial application to contract reviews to annual renewal. We make it easy for you to quickly receive a quote, apply for coverage and get certificates of insurance.
Receive a price indication of what our coverage will look like for your business today.