The RIBA has launched a thorough review of Professional Risk and Professional Indemnity Insurance (PII) market conditions, as part of a targeted action plan to address the worsening crisis.
The spiralling cost and declining level of cover provided by PII policies poses a serious threat to the profession, with smaller practices at serious risk of closure or being forced into the unregulated sector.
A survey of members’ experiences marks the first step, to establish the key issues that underpin the market and influence the availability and cost of obtaining cover.
The full study will examine a range of measures, from the standardisation of PII proposal forms and policy wording, to enhanced professional risk management techniques. It aims to promote improved levels of professional and regulatory confidence in a manner that is attractive to the PII market, to enhance the availability and breadth of cover, and realign premiums at an appropriate and affordable level for members and their practices.
RIBA members are encouraged to complete the initial survey by 25 July 2022.
The study will be led by a RIBA Council Task & Finish Group alongside insurance industry experts.
RIBA President, Simon Allford, said:
“While the ARB has proposed some welcome adjustments to support the profession in the short term, we urgently require solutions to manage professional design liability and improve the availability of appropriate insurance cover for architects and consumers. This study relies on data and evidence from our membership. I therefore urge all practices to take part in this initial survey and share their experiences.”
RIBA Board and Council Member, and PII Task & Finish Group Chair, Jennifer Dixon, said:
“By drawing on the vast experience of members and engaging widely with other industry bodies, this study aims to improve the visibility, understanding and management of design risk, and establish a robust, unified approach to PII across the industry. With a total premium level of £75m, the architectural PII market is small relative to the other built environment professions, however the role of the architect as Lead Designer in buildings projects attracts a disproportionately high level of professional liability within the project design team. The survey marks the first step of this programme of work – and I encourage all members to take part.”