Architects face a wide range of risks every day, from general liability to property damage (such as a fire) to employment practices and other areas of concerns. But architects like all professionals also face the possibility of litigation alleging negligence during the course of one’s work, including the work of the employees on client projects. These alleged negligent acts, errors, or omissions may cause damage to owners, contractors, or other third parties, and the architect’s firm may be found liable for these damages. What is needed to protect against such allegations should there be a claim is the purchase of architect professional liability insurance.
Moreover, there are other issues under the umbrella of professional liability concerns today, including problems that can arise from the use of unproven sustainable products and design in a project, tougher standard of care provisions, hidden electronic “meta” data in their offices, contracts that imply a fiduciary duty, and others. And once aware of possible risks, what actions should you take? What are the major considerations – including the cost of mitigating those risks, or worse, the cost of ignoring them?
Emerging Practices and Risk Management
You need to implement sound risk management practices and strategies to avoid costly litigation that could have devastating consequences. This includes making sure that you and your employees document all conversations, requests, etc. that take place between you and your clients, you and any contractors, etc. Be sure you follow-up with written correspondence so that there is a paper trail should you be faced with a claim down the road. If an issue arises with a client, take care of it immediately; don’t let it fester as this can cause problems down the road for you. If there are delays on a project, common on construction sites, ensure that your client is aware of the delays and why. The most common professional liability claims are due to missed deadlines.
Architect professional liability Insurance coverage in addition to implementation of strong risk management protocols will help you protect your assets and hard work and mitigate risk.