Whether a sole practitioner or large international firm, conceptual design architect or project manager, no project comes without risk. CLEAR’s CII qualified Professional Indemnity specialists have been working with architects for over 25 years and can find the right insurance policy for your business.
It’s important to appoint a specialist broker familiar with ARB and RIBA guidelines. CLEAR understands that even the slightest mistake or misunderstanding can result in costly project delays, accidents and, in some cases, even injuries. So, it’s because we know our stuff that our clients can leave us to worry about their insurances and concentrate on growing their own practices. And when there’s a problem, our clients know that CLEAR will be fighting their corner every step of the way.
Cover features and benefits
Full legal liability cover available with insurers who can provide advice relating to contract queries, appointments, collateral warranties and framework
Professional Indemnity insurance with wide limits available from £500,000 to in excess of £50 million
Office packages - extending to include Public and Employer’s Liability insurance
Cyber Liability and Crime insurance
Directors and Officers Liability insurance
Private Medical – flexible with cover available for principles only or all staff
Here are some of the most frequently asked questions we receive about our insurance for architects:
How can I choose the right level of cover?
There is no right solution – Whilst different governing bodies have minimum levels of cover some argue that you should 'buy what you can afford'. In other cases your customer will specify a minimum level of cover. In any event, you should assess the greatest loss that might result from a mistake on any particular project or contract. Ultimately, no one will take on your responsibility to ensure you have enough cover but you should carefully review this area with your broker.
If I work outside of the UK will I be covered?
Not all policies cover work overseas automatically so check the terms of your policy and if not covered already, arrange with your broker for the necessary amendments to be made. Most policies will protect you against claims made against you in the UK but if you want to be defended abroad you may need to change the 'jurisdiction clause' and this must be correct to ensure your activities are covered. Tell your broker about all your overseas work especially if you change this during your policy period.
My policy is on a 'Claims Made' basis – what does that mean?
Unlike many liability insurances Professional Indemnity is underwritten on what is known as a ‘claims made' basis. This means that the policy will only provide cover for incidents that are discovered and notified to the Insurers during the period of insurance. Your policy will provide cover for advice given in previous years, often limited to a retroactive date (see below). It is important to note that if you want to continue with the protection Professional Indemnity cover provides you need to keep renewing cover or buy 'Run Off' cover.
What is 'Run Off' cover?
If you are closing your company or are a sole practitioner/partnership and are retiring from practice that does not mean that claims will not arise on work undertaken in prior years. Whilst the majority of claims are made quite quickly, it is still possible for a claim to go back many years, and for this reason most insurance professionals will recommend a minimum of six years' run off cover. Additional collateral warranty conditions frequently extend exposure periods for Architects to over 10 years which need to be carefully considered. If no policy is in place at the time a claim is made, then you may face liability which can not only be traumatic, but financially devastating.
What is a retroactive date?
The retroactive date refers to the date from which work undertaken is covered i.e. a current Professional Indemnity policy with a retroactive date of 1st January 2005, will provide cover for claims arising out of work undertaken on or after 1st January 2005. Any work prior to this date will be excluded. If no retroactive date is shown, or if it is noted as ‘None’, the cover is provided relating to all work that you have undertaken previously (subject to that work falling within the scope of activities declared to Insurers).
Can I increase my limit for a particular client or contract?
Some client’s will request higher limits for particular contracts and there are cost implications to this. Other than on very large projects 'single project professional indemnity' is difficult to source in a cost effective manner. Our normal advice would be to increase your overall limit of indemnity for your ‘whole turnover’. You must remember though that the increased limit needs to continue for the length of your contractual obligations and exposure on the contract.