Advice from the experts

Brunel arranges Professional Indemnity (PI) insurance for 1 in 4 RIBA architects.

Brunel is the recommended broking partner of the Institute of Clerk of Works.

PI issues for construction professionals

Construction professionals are facing the worst PII market in three decades. Making the right approach to the limited range of insurers which have remained in the market is absolutely essential.

Cover as well as price is an issue in this market. Exclusions in respect of facades, combustibility and fire safety have become common, which have resulted from the spotlight on nationwide property issues highlighted by the Grenfell Tower tragedy. There have also been moves by some underwriters away from per claim cover.

In these difficult times professionals should use a specialist broker who knows the markets well and has sufficient resources to deploy on a firm’s behalf. A coherent and tactical renewal strategy can mitigate the effects of risk averse underwriting. It is absolutely essential to begin the renewal process early.

We work closely with clients to fully understand their businesses and present their risk to insurers in a positive manner.

The impact of sustainable design

Sustainable design also creates new risks, especially in the use of new materials, adoption of sustainability assessment standards such as BREEAM and consideration of environmental issues such as flooding resulting from climate change.

An advantage of the disciplines adopted in a good sustainability model is that they transfer positively to other areas of business management as well as risk management.

Brunel have an understanding that a clear sustainability policy is now a vital ingredient for architects when tendering for and winning business from end user clients, or where requirements are cascading down the supply chain.

With increasing pressure on the use of brownfield sites aspects such as pollution cover should not be ignored. Some insurers exclude this cover, or only provide limited cover.

Contractual risk

Construction firm’s contractual risk is also increasing with more onerous contractual obligations and reassurances regularly being sought, driven in part by more onerous guarantees being applied further up the chain.

This is despite that such strict terms are not fully PI insurance supported. You should be alert to the dangers contained in your contracts, and we can help you in identifying and mitigating uninsured contractual risk.

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