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Architects & Civil Engineers

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It has never been more important for professionals in the construction sector to have the correct insurance cover in place and ensure that their level of protection is suitable for their business. This is because there has been a significant rise in the number of claims against such firms in recent years due to the litigious world we live in.

Whatever the nature of your business from designing and drawing to undertaking project management, it is fundamental for you to receive the greatest level of protection available when you are considering purchasing your insurance cover. What's more, the same principle applies for businesses which are currently trading or companies which are merely seeking run-off cover.

We provide a range of insurance products which are suitable for members of:

...the standard and service they provide is unrivaled - Claret Civil Engineering Ltd
  • Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA)
  • The Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS)
  • Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE)
  • Civil Engineering Contractors Association (CECA)

Examples of claims

There are many scenarios which could result in a claim being made against you or your business so for your information, we have listed below some examples of actual claims which have been made. For more information on the possible exposures relating to your business, please contact us.

Reason for claim Circumstances Outcome / Settlement
Negligent design – industrial new build Design failure in respect of industrial distribution warehouse. Building incapable of housing refrigeration plant due to incorrect design of internal load bearing roof. Settled £75,000
Negligent design – commercial new build Incorrect design of fuel tanks in respect of new petrol station development led to failure of standard industry health and safety check. Alterations cost £18,500
Negligent design – residential new build Architect signed practical completion certificate on a residential new build job. Dozens of snagging problems then arose which the contractors failed to resolve. Settled £5,000
Failure to seek planning permission Architect instructed to plan and design office development. Although planning permission requested and received from Local Authority, there was a failure to seek permission for the correct area. Settled £9,000
Inadequate supervision Architects instructed to produce specification and supervise the renovation works to a church roof. After contractor went 'bust', roof failed after heavy rain and it subsequently transpired that the work carried out by the contractor was inadequate. Claimant alleged proper supervision by Architect would have avoided problem. Settled £100,000
Negligent site layout Architects instructed to design a residential development comprising of ten properties. Dimensions for the site were provided by Surveyors but were incorrectly translated by Architects and the development encroached on to land owned by Local Authority. Additional costs incurred in purchasing additional land. Settled £10,000
Negligent survey report Architect instructed by residential property developer to carry out a pre-purchase / exchange survey on a residential property. On the basis of the Architect's report the property was purchased in part-exchange for one of their properties. A subsequent survey by prospective purchasers revealed serious cracks to structural wall. It was alleged the Architect should have warned the developer of the problem in order to trigger further expert investigations. Settled £20,000
Failure to adequately specify Architects instructed to design a number of hotels. After completion of the project one of the hotels suffered a fire which resulted in major damage. During repairs it was noticed that the fire resistant material used in the property was inadequate. It was later alleged that the Architect failed to specify material correctly. The error meant material in all hotels had to be replaced. Settlement £500,000

The above claims examples are provided by HCC International Insurance Company Plc

Policy Cover


The Architects Registration Board (ARB) lays down the rules for Architects Professional Indemnity. Wordings are required to be written on a 'civil liability' basis (covering all civil liability, not just negligence). If you are unregistered, unqualified, or qualified only to a limited extent, more basic wordings can be offered.

The usual cover

Usually the limit of indemnity will be "any one claim" with legal costs in addition. The excess will not normally apply to insurers' costs and expenses. On a civil liability basis, unless specifically excluded (which is unusual) cover would include negligence, liability for dishonesty, liability for lost documents, libel and slander and breach of warranty of authority.

Minimum limits

  • £250,000 where fees are less than £100,000 in the past financial year
  • £500,000 where fees are greater than £100,000 but less than £200,000
  • £1,000,000 for all practices with fees of greater than £200,000

It should be stressed that these are minimums and these limits may not be adequate for your needs.