Architect Insurance

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What our Nerds say about public architect insurance

Whether it’s a tower taking a prominent place in the city skyline or a client’s beautiful new home, your buildings are designed to endure. But that means any mistakes you make might endure too.

It could be the use of an unsuitable material, failure to stay within your client’s budget, or even a planning error that leads to a dangerous defect in the building’s construction.

All these scenarios could potentially see you accused of negligence, or breach of your duty of care to the client. That’s why it is sensible to protect yourself by taking out a solidly constructed architect insurance policy.

What is architects’ professional indemnity insurance?

As an architect, professional indemnity (PI) insurance can help protect you from allegations of negligence, breach of duty of care, errors and omissions.

This could be mistakes in your initial drawings, failing to obtain the necessary planning permission, hiring negligent subcontractors, or failing to anticipate an issue that later results in a redesign or rebuild.

Basically, if you do anything that delays a project or causes your client to experience personal or financial loss, architects’ professional indemnity insurance could cover your legal costs and contribute to any resulting compensation payouts.

The Architects Registration Board recommends that architects have at least £250,000 worth of insurance per claim for professional indemnity insurance.

It points out that work carried out for free could still result in a claim being made against an architect, so you’ll need to make sure that any pro bono work you carry out is covered too.

You may also look to consider taking out at least six years of ‘run-off cover’ after you stop trading. This will help protect you from claims made against any work that you’ve already finished. The reason for this is that a client can sue you for negligence or breach of contract up to six years after the completion of a project.

What else can architect insurance include?

You will be legally required to protect your employees with employers’ liability insurance. This will protect you if a member of staff falls ill, is injured, is killed, or their property is lost, stolen or damaged while working for your business. The only exception to this need is if your staff are family members or based abroad.

As your work will involve meeting clients, public liability insurance could provide cover if a third party is injured or their property is lost or damaged as a result of your business activities. For example, a client could slip on a recently mopped floor in your office, or you could knock over a priceless vase while taking measurements at a client’s house.

If you run your business from an office, you may consider taking out buildings insurance, which will pay for repairs and rebuilds if your premises are damaged. Another type of insurance to potentially consider is business and office equipment insurance, which could cover any general operational equipment against loss, theft or damage both when in storage and out and about.

For more specialist equipment, such as your drawing, modelling, and measuring tools, you may consider looking at tools insurance.

Finally, it may be worth considering taking out personal accident cover. This can cover lost income and medical costs if an injury prevents you from working for any length of time.

» MORE: Business liability insurance: Everything you need to know

What does architect insurance cover?

Architect insurance packages will usually include cover against claims of professional negligence, errors, and omissions, as well as injury or property damage to third parties and any employees, and loss, theft, or damage to personal equipment and business premises.

It usually includes:

  • professional indemnity insurance
  • public liability insurance
  • employers’ liability insurance
  • business premises insurance
  • business and office equipment insurance
  • tools insurance
  • personal accident insurance

Whether you need all of these covers will depend on your specific circumstances. You should be able to tailor your insurance policy to match your exact requirements.

Do I need architect insurance?

Yes. The Architects Registration Board’s (ARB) code of practice says that architects must have adequate and appropriate insurance and recommends a minimum limit of £250,000 for each and every claim.

» MORE: Work out whether you need business insurance

What isn’t usually covered by architect insurance?

Architect insurance packages don’t often include cover for your business vehicle as standard.

However, if you or your employees use their own car to drive to clients’ houses or to conduct site visits, it may be worth considering covering your vehicles against damage or theft with Class 1 Business Car insurance. This covers you for social, domestic and pleasure use, as well as for when you’re driving to and from work and between sites.

How to choose the best architect insurance policy for your needs?

Once you’ve collated all the necessary information about your business and the type of work you do, you can begin the process of finding a suitable architect insurance quote. Why not start right away?

You can use our architect insurance comparison tool to help find the right deal for your business.

How much does architect insurance cost?

You should expect your professional indemnity insurance to cost between 3% and 5% of your fee income. However, every architect has different needs and circumstances, so it’s impossible to say exactly how much your insurance will cost.

As a simple rule of thumb, the higher the risk you take on, the higher your maximum cover limits and the more you’ll pay for your monthly premium. For example, town planning and interior design could be considered low risk, while new-build architectural work and project management could fall into the high-risk category.

Your insurer will also take into account your claims history, the size of your business and its income, your qualifications and experience, and the number of partners or directors to staff ratios.

Architect Insurance FAQs

Do architects have to have professional indemnity insurance?

Do architects have to have professional indemnity insurance? In order to be registered with the Architects Registration Board, it is mandatory to have professional indemnity insurance. It recommends a minimum of £250,000 in professional indemnity insurance for each and every claim.

» COMPARE: Professional indemnity insurance

What insurance should an architect have?

An architect may consider professional indemnity, public liability, and employers’ liability insurance (if you have any staff), as well as business premises, office equipment, and tools insurance to cover your valuables against loss, theft, or damage.

Of course, whether you require all of these policies or more depends on your business requirements.

How much is PI insurance for an architect?

You should expect your architects’ professional indemnity (PI) insurance to cost between 3% and 5% of your fee income, though it could be lower or lower than this depending on your circumstances.

How much PI insurance should an architect have?

In order to be registered with the Architects Registration Board, you will need to be able to provide proof of professional indemnity insurance. The ARB recommends a minimum cover of £250,000, though you may need more depending on the risk profile of the work you undertake.

About the author

Henry Williams
Henry is passionate about helping individuals and businesses stay informed. Over the last 8 years, he’s written for startup and small business sites, with a focus on finance, insurance, and websites. Read more
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