What insurance do architects need?

This article is provided by Simply Business

What insurance do architects need?

Architects’ insurance is designed to protect not only you, but also your clients and members of the public. Mistakes do happen, and it’s vital that architects are properly covered. Without taking out a policy suitable for you and your business, you are putting your own financial security at risk.

Just as importantly, key architecture trade bodies require members to have adequate cover in order to achieve accreditation. The ARB’s Architects Code says that architects are “expected to have adequate and appropriate insurance cover,” while surveyors regulated by RICS must have “adequate and appropriate professional indemnity insurance cover.”

There is a range of different cover types that you might consider as an architect. Here, we’ve broken down the key options.

Professional indemnity insurance

Professional indemnity is a key cover for every architect. It is designed to protect you against financial claims against you resulting from faulty advice that you have given, or a mistake made in the course of your work. This could range from a minor error in a design to, potentially, a collapsing building.

It’s important that you consider the level of cover when you’re taking out professional indemnity insurance. The ARB suggests cover of at least £250,000, but providers such as Simply Business can offer cover up to £2 million.

Think about the size of your largest projects when choosing your cover because if you need to claim on your insurance it can only pay out up to the limit of the policy. Plus, keep in mind that you may need to increase it if you take on a project bigger than usual.

Public liability insurance

Public liability cover is another key consideration for architects, and should be on the list of priorities if you or your business interacts with members of the public, be it suppliers, contractors, or passersby.

It can cover you against compensation claims arising from injury or damage caused by you during the course of your work. Claims of this sort can be extremely expensive in the case of serious injury or death, and it’s therefore vital that you are properly covered.

Again, you need to think carefully about levels of cover. Policies are generally available from £1 million up to around £10 million.

Employers’ liability insurance

Employers’ liability insurance is usually a legal requirement if you employ any staff, even on a short-term, casual, or contract basis. It can cover you against compensation claims caused by illness or injury suffered by any of those parties as a result of their work for you.

If you are employing people, the risks of remaining uninsured are significant: aside from the cost of compensation claims, businesses that fail to take out employers’ liability cover when they are obliged to do so are liable for fines of up to £2,500 for every day they are not covered.

You should also remember that you are required to keep hold of any information related to your employers’ liability cover, even if it has expired. This is necessary in the event of a claim made after an employee no longer works for you.

Business buildings insurance

If your architecture practice has premises, you should also consider business buildings and business contents insurance. Business buildings insurance covers you against damage to the building itself, while business contents insurance protects things like equipment and furnishings, but can also cover fixtures and fittings.

You should consider these covers even if you work from home, as home insurance policies often exclude items used to carry on business within a domestic property.

Finally, you should remember that you may not need to take out individual policies for each of these covers. Providers like Simply Business offer the opportunity to collect different covers into a single policy, meaning that you only have to deal with one premium and one renewal date.

This article is provided by Simply Business