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Professional indemnity insurance

As a RIBA Member, you are required to hold suitable insurance to cover potential liabilities arising from negligence or breach of contract associated with professional activities.

After the Grenfell Tower fire, professional indemnity (PI) insurance premiums increased for the first time in over a decade. Other issues are also affecting the construction PI insurance market, including an increasing number of claims, a significant contraction in available capacity, and the insurance industry’s uncertainty about how to price risk.

We know that most RIBA Chartered Practices and other industry professionals are facing some form of restriction or complete exclusion of cover in relation to fire safety. While a sustainable and longer-term solution isn’t yet in sight, we’ve collected our best practice guidance and updates on how we’re addressing this issue below.

Best practice guidance

RIBA Insurance Agency guidance

The RIBA Insurance Agency is a joint venture between RIBA and Arthur J Gallagher (UK) Limited. It is the only insurance broker endorsed by RIBA to provide professional indemnity insurance to its members.

Read the RIBA Insurance Agency's guidance on insurance below.

Risk management

Risk management can be the difference between business failure and success. Within corporate structures, risk management will be an embedded discipline and a requirement to protect shareholders.

A proper understanding of the risks facing a business can make the difference between continuity and failure, as well as impacting on the cost of its insurance programme. However, the majority of businesses have no formalised risk management and control procedures in place.

To help members address this situation, RIBA in association with the RIBA Insurance Agency has produced a short guide on understanding and managing risk within their businesses.

Download the Guide to understanding risk management (PDF).

To help members address the issues associated with the review of contracts, RIBA in association with the RIBA Insurance Agency has produced a short guide covering some of the common areas where issues can arise. The points covered apply to any contracts that are being requested: whether the appointment, novation agreement, collateral warranty, or other documents.

Download the Guide to reviewing contract documentation (PDF).

Principal designer (CDM 2015)

The RIBA Insurance Agency has confirmed that practices will need to declare to their insurers that they are offering principal designer services. PI insurance premiums are affected by claims records, experience, sectors of work, turnover and services, and all professional services carry liabilities.

The risk profile for principal designer services is not significantly different to that of architects acting as lead designers or project leads, and it is not anticipated that it will have any significant effect on premiums for RIBA Insurance Agency policies.

Post occupancy evaluation/building performance evaluation

The RIBA Insurance Agency has confirmed that architects with a RIBA Insurance Agency professional indemnity insurance policy are covered to undertake post occupancy evaluation/building performance evaluation services, but recommend that practices that are going to offer these services inform the RIBA Insurance Agency of their intention to do so.

Learn more about post occupancy evaluation.

Find out more about the RIBA Insurance Agency

Visit the RIBA Insurance Agency website for more information about their insurance offer.

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