Third of all PI claims in 2020 from architects, broker reports

Architects made over a third of all professional indemnity claims for 2020 at UK broker, PolicyBee, despite making up just 6% of all policies and 10% of total value.

Ongoing issues in the construction industry, such concerns over cladding on buildings since the Grenfell Tower disaster, and a number of failed basement conversions, have been causing nervousness amongst insurers who consider it a high-risk sector. Some insurers have pulled out of offering cover altogether, raised premiums and excesses by up to 400%, or introduced major exclusions within their policies.

Yasin Akdemir, architects’ insurance specialist at PolicyBee, said: “Unfortunately, we expect challenges surrounding PI insurance to remain for a few years yet. As well as rising premiums, policy renewals are another area of concern for architects as some insurers are ceasing to provide cover for the industry. Others are asking for far more information from customers than they used to, which of course takes time and can cause a bit of a paperwork headache for architects. This means the entire renewals process is taking longer so architects need to start thinking about it earlier than they usually might.

“Historically, architects have been responsible for putting in high numbers of PI claims at PolicyBee. These often stem from common issues such as communication breakdowns between architects and their clients or builders failing to report or correct design problems. There is no doubt all businesses in the industry need the best level of protection from PI claims and their associated legal fees and compensation claims. PI insurance is the first line of defence if a client isn’t happy with the work provided and brokers are a great solution for finding the right cover.”

With PI claims remaining high for architects in 2020, those renewing their policies or looking for new ones are urged to check the level of cover provided carefully and well in advance of the date required.

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