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General Liability Insurance for Architects
Commercial general liability insurance covers you if your subcontractors, employees or clients should allege that you or someone who works for you caused them bodily injury or property damage. If you're sued, the coverage pays for your legal defense expenses; bond premiums; your time spent in court; and any settlements, medical expenses, interest or judgments you might be ordered to pay.
As an architect, you probably think that your risk for this kind of lawsuit is very low—and most likely, you're right. Regardless, many client contracts may require you to carry general liability insurance, as they do for all contractors. Because you'll probably spend some time visiting the client's offices and possibly construction sites, the client will likely want to ensure that you're covered, so that they don't have to cover you on their own policies should an accident happen.
What You Need to Know
Regardless of client requirements, general liability insurance is one of the most commonly purchased types of insurance for architects, and for good reason: Accidents do happen, both at your office and your clients' sites. And it only takes one costly incident to put many small architecture firms out of business.
Luckily, there's a good chance that as a professional architect with a low risk for claims, you're eligible to get covered through a discounted package policy called a BOP. Learn whether you qualify.
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- How much coverage does your architecture business need? It depends on several variables, including where your business is located and how much risk you carry. Ask your Business Insurance Now agent for help assessing your architecture business's potential liability.
- Some insurance carriers' general liability policies may not cover claims caused by independent contractors working on your behalf, while others will. For help understanding what your policy covers, read the fine print, and ask your agent for clarification if you need it.
- General liability insurance does not cover claims related to professional negligence or failure to perform your professional duties. For that, you need professional liability insurance.