Architects in the UK have challenging and amazing careers. Most have
incredible skills, which have a great influence on designing and planning
buildings and surrounding areas. Many are self-employed or run a small
business and use the latest in technological tools to carry out their
trade at every stage of designing, supervising and constructing a site.
Architects, whether self-employed or part of a team, need insurance to
protect them from some of the challenges they face and to ensure cover for
any issues that might arise should a claim be filed against them.
Public Liability Insurance
This insurance will most likely cover compensation and legal fees should you have to pay a claim made by a customer, third party or contractor because of property damage or accidental injury whether the service was performed in your office or at another site. For instance, if a customer sustains an injury because he slips on a wet floor on your premises, or if you accidentally spill water damaging a customer's computer in their office, these may result in claims filed against you. To reiterate, Public Liability Insurance provides your architectural business cover from most claims filed for damages or injuries to a third party if you deal with members of the public, have clients on your business site or in your home office or if you or an employee goes to a client's office for an appointment or to perform a service. Although Public Liability is not mandatory, most client's look for proof of this cover before allowing an architect to commence services. To carry out architectural services, minimum cover is £2 million; however, many in the business will choose cover for £5m or £10m for peace of mind.
Employers’ Liability Insurance
If an architect has an employee or
employees, he is responsible for their safety as well as their health
whilst they are employed. Should an employee be injured on the job or
become ill during or after his employment, he could file a compensation
claim against you. All UK tradesmen like architects are obliged to have
Employers' Liability cover of £5 million. which will likely cover damages
filed as a claim for injuries or damages made by an employee. It also
includes cover for disease or injury an employee may have sustained whilst
employed by you. Employers' Liability Act (compulsory) became a legal
requirement of 1969, became a law in 1972.
Professional Indemnity Insurance
Most architectures give advice every day.
Should a client experience a financial loss because of the advice given,
Professional Indemnity Insurance will most likely cover costs and legal
fees for the claim against you. Personal Indemnity insurance is usually
required by any client that chooses to do business with an architecture.
Product Liability Insurance
Those in the architectural trade often
supply products or components of a product that they created. As a result,
any person or third party who is injured by that product, even if it's
years later, can file a claim against you. Any injury, loss or damage or
illness resulting because of the product leaves you legally responsible.
It could become a criminal offence under The Consumer Protection Act of
1987, because you may have supplied an unsafe consumer
Choosing an Insurance Broker
Architect business insurance choices can become confusing and somewhat complicated. Taking time to research and choose a reputable broker specialising in insurance for the architectural trades is strongly advised. A good broker will likely have a variety of products and companies for you to consider. There is also a wealth of information available on various UK websites specialising in tradesman (architect) insurances. These websites will likely give information about the company, their rates, their cover and the packages they offer and recommend.
Remember that every insurance policy is different. ALWAYS read the policy carefully to make sure that it has the right cover for you!
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