At Vantage Professional Risks, by offering comprehensive insurance for architects, we are protecting one of the oldest and most established professions.
Like all those involved in the building industry, architects have been affected by legislation and increased contractual requirements from their clients which has only increased the potential for claims to be brought under their Professional Indemnity (PI) policy.
As a result of the increased exposures faced it is imperative that the areas of work are correctly understood, fully considering the processes that the practice has in place, including the appointment of any sub contracted consultants within the practice so that the professional indemnity insurance can placed correctly to cover these appointments.
In addition it is becoming more common for clients to insist on collateral warranties or duty of care agreements especially if there is no direct contract between the client and the architectural practice, for example in a design and build contract. Some contracts may form a consortia or define the architect as the contractor which are very different risks to that of standard architect.
PI insurers generally take the view that they will accept claims arising from sensibly worded agreements but this may in some cases need to be endorsed into the wording for cover to apply. Others will address by setting out clearly the limits beyond which cover will not apply. It is also important to fully understand how the policy responds to the warranties or contracts in place, some contracts can extend the liability of the practice beyond the limitations of a standard policy which if not picked up can leave the company exposed.