It’s essential for architects and engineers to have adequate professional liability insurance. Professional liability claims against these professionals can be costly due to the expense of their work and the safety risks that mistakes can introduce. Many architects believe a basic PLI policy offers enough coverage, but to be safe, professionals should consider addressing the following two areas of liability.
1. Pollution and Contamination Claims
In the current political climate, the risk of exposure to pollution and contamination professional liability claims may be high. A good PLI policy should address mistakes made during planning or preliminary stages, such as inadequate testing of air, water, soil, or construction materials. The policy should also address the mismanagement of pollutants or contaminants during construction.
2. Liability for Independent Contractors
With so much work outsourced to contractors, it can be difficult for architects or engineers to maintain full oversight. Unfortunately, though contractors should have their own liability insurance, it is often architects or engineers who are targeted in claims. A standard PLI policy will not cover errors made by non-policyholders. A policy with explicit coverage for contractors is the best way to guard against this risk.
Reviewing and Renewing Coverage
The ideal PLI policy will vary by firm, which is why architects or engineers should compare their needs and policies annually and discuss necessary changes with an insurance agent. Regular policy reviews and updates can be the key to protecting an architecture or engineering firm’s reputation, finances, and long-term success.