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WCPGW… when I have Professional Indemnity Insurance

Dear WCPGW,

What can possibly go wrong when I have Professional Indemnity Insurance? They will cover me when I make a mistake, right?

Sincerely

Yours, F.L Wrong

Dear Frankie,

I hope you are joking!

Much can go wrong, meaning you may not be covered by your insurance, if…

  • …you don’t have a signed CAA clearly stating the terms of your engagement between yourself and your client. This is a rule of professional conduct in the Architects’ Act, governing our profession. (It’s also a very good idea to have a signed contract of employment when you work for another architect, to avoid misunderstandings and conflict, by the way).
  • …you do not notify the insurer of any circumstance that may lead to a claim… this, from now on includes having used any now ‘non-compliant’ cladding materials…
  • .. you do not declare your practice’s turnover fully to cover the entire range of your work. This includes updating your amount of turnover in case you win more work than expected during your insurance period.
  • …you don’t keep appropriate records of discussions, meetings and emails, or document transmittal logs regarding your projects…
  • …you don’t keep appropriate run-off cover for the work you have done when you go on sabbatical, maternity or other leave or plan to retire and a claim arises with respect to any problems with your work…
  • …doing work your policy does not cover you for; i.e. work not normally done by an architect or work you are expressly not covered for by any exclusions listed on your insurance policy…
  • …you give cost estimates of the projects you work on…
  • …and last not least… you can get into hot water if you do not make a reasonable effort at being a good and diligent architect. Don’t promise anything you can’t deliver!

These points, my dear Frankie should be a good start for a long and happy relationship with your insurance company!

Best,
WCPGW

p.s. and make sure you familiarise yourself with your insurance policies and the exclusions

p.p.s. never be embarrassed or scared to contact the Brokers if you have questions

a.k.a.

Barbara Moje
ArchiTeam
Insurance Director

Disclaimer – ‘What could possibly go wrong?’ is not an advice column, it is only general comment from ArchiTeam who are not aware of your circumstances with any issue that you may have. You cannot rely on these general comments, each member must make their own decisions about any action they should take and seek independent advice of their own if they are unsure.

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