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You know that being an architect involves more than drawing up plans; in fact, even more work goes into building, running, and upholding an architecture firm.
So who's there to protect you while you’re working for your clients? Allow us to introduce ourselves.
Simply Business is an online insurance platform that makes it easy for architecture business owners to find customized coverage. From general liability to professional liability options, Simply Business can help you find a personalized policy that's designed for your business.
It takes fewer than 10 minutes to get your free quotes from top insurers. From there, it's easy to get coverage: just click on the policy you want and buy. It’s really that simple!
Ready to get covered?
You wouldn't advise all of your clients to approach each of their projects in the same way, and the same can be said of insurance policies. When it comes to building a thorough coverage plan, we recommend considering these three policies:
As an architect, you likely spend a great amount of time dealing with numbers. You do your best to make sure your measurements are well-calculated and your structures are sound. But you're only human — meaning you’re vulnerable to mistakes.
So what happens if you’re inadvertently negligent in carrying out your services?
This is where professional liability insurance (PL) comes in.
Professional liability coverage protects your firm if a client claims you were negligent while providing services for them. If you have employees and they make a mistake, then professional liability also may cover them.
So what does all of this mean when it comes to protecting your business?
Let's look into a scenario where professional liability coverage would be useful. Say a client had you design a new add-on for the garage on the side of their house, which had a loft space upstairs for guests.
Unfortunately, the calculations you made were incorrect, meaning the structure was too unstable to host people. Luckily, no one was hurt, but now it will cost your client a lot of money to pay to redo the structure. Because he's on a deadline and guests will be arriving in a matter of weeks, he plans to sue you for negligence and for the cost of putting his guests up in a hotel.
In this scenario, without a professional liability policy, you may have to dip into your firm's reserves or even into your personal bank account to hire a lawyer or pay the amount of the claim. However, with the protection of a PL policy, you could be covered for the cost of legal fees, as well as paid-out claims (up to your policy's limit).
To summarize, here’s what professional liability coverage for architects can cover:
Keep in mind that PL insurance usually doesn’t cover:
If you rent or own a space where you meet with clients, there's a good chance you'll need commercial general liability coverage (GL). General liability can cover damages to property, third-party accidents, or bodily injury to a third party (e.g., a vendor or client).
And considering that the average claim for customer damage is $30,000, it’s easy to see why general liability coverage is so important to have!
Just think — you're excited to show one of your clients the blueprints you've drawn up for their new office space. You invite them to your office to go over the plans. Fortunately, they were pleased with the blueprints and gave you the go-ahead to continue with the project. But as they were leaving, they took the stairs instead of the elevator, and tripped and fell on their way down.
Without a general liability policy as part of your architect insurance, the expenses for your client's medical costs could come out of your operating budget or your personal finances. However, if you have GL insurance, the cost of medical care and any related legal fees likely could be covered.
Here’s what general liability insurance usually can cover for architects:
Here's what general liability insurance usually doesn’t cover:
Depending on which state you live in, you may be required to invest in a form of workers compensation insurance. Whether your employees are full-time, part-time, or temporary, this type of coverage could protect you financially if an employee is injured or becomes sick while working for you.
You may have started out as a one-person operation, but if you have any employees, there are additional risks to consider, and they come with eyebrow-raising price tags. The average work injury cost is $41,000, amounting to $170.8 billion in claims in 2018 alone.
Not many architectural firms could take on that kind of financial burden. That’s why it’s important to protect yourself with workers compensation coverage.
In general, a workers compensation policy for architects can cover:
You wouldn't hand off a blueprint to a project manager without going over the numbers more than once, would you? Of course not — you want to make sure your measurements are correct and that all structures will be secure.
That's how insurance comes in handy. It's another step in protecting your work.
Maybe you're just getting started with a couple of clients and don't think coverage is necessary, because you meet with clients in their own space. Or maybe you have such a great track record that you doubt anything would ever happen to impact you financially.
Ask yourself this: Is my firm, livelihood, and career, worth the risk? You’re human, and accidents could happen, and you can't always predict a mistake. But with business coverage, you'll be able to prevent liabilities that impact your company. Common incidents can have a real effect on the financial well-being of a small business. See how much they can cost on average:
You may think that as a small business not many customers would waste their time on a claim against you. In reality, we live in a litigious society — 43% of small business owners report being threatened or involved in a civil lawsuit. Fortunately, with business insurance, your policy could potentially cover the costs of attorney fees, as well as pay for any resulting claims (up to your policy limit).
Going without coverage isn’t worth the risk. That’s why at Simply Business we make it easy to find the right coverage at the right price. Answer a few questions about your business here to compare free quotes from some of the country’s top insurers.
Once you choose a policy that works best for you, we can provide you with a certificate of insurance (COI) for proof of coverage to clients, vendors, and more.
Depending on which state you live in, you may be required to carry some type of policy, like general liability coverage. If you have employees (regardless of how permanent or temporary they are), your state may require you to have some form of workers compensation insurance.
The IRS considers your premiums to be tax-deductible. If you have questions about tax deductions and expenses, we recommend speaking to a tax professional or accountant about your specific business.
The amount of coverage may depend on:
Don't worry if you're not sure about what you need — that's what our quote form is for. We can recommend policy options for you, based on your answers.
If you have additional questions, our licensed insurance agents are available and will be happy to assist you!
If you’re ready to get your free quotes, we recommend having the following information on hand to expedite the process:
Your state may have a different insurance requirement than another state (particularly when it comes to the protocol on workers compensation coverage).
The questions on our quote form will help narrow down which policy options are right for your business type.
Just like when architects quote a fee for a project, the cost of coverage can depend on myriad factors. While the amount of coverage will depend on how the policies are bundled, you can expect professional liability, general liability, and workers comp policies to cover:
The cost for an architect business differs depending on where it's located and what the specific needs are. Generally, you can expect the price of coverage to be determined by:
Curious to see how much insurance may cost for your architect business? Click here and get free quotes from some of the top insurers in the country.
If we asked you to choose the most compelling architectural structure, it would likely take you some time to answer — and for good reason. It's an overwhelming decision with many factors to consider — just like choosing the right coverage for your business.
There's a reason why we're one of the fastest-growing online providers of small business insurance. We make it easy to choose a policy that covers your architecture business by walking you through each detail. Thousands of customers nationwide trust us to help them find a policy to secure their livelihoods for that reason.
Our customers choose Simply Business because:
We save them time and money. Business owners are busy. That’s why we can help you find and compare customized plans in less than 10 minutes.
We adjust coverage for your needs. We're flexible and able to adapt to your needs. Whether you need a COI or to adjust your policy to accommodate a new employee, we’re here to help.
We understand small business owners. No business is the same, which is why no coverage should be, either. Get the protection that’s designed just for your architect business.
You've worked hard to build your career one brick at a time. We're here to help you protect your architecture business, so you can continue growing.
This content is intended to be used for informational purposes only. It is not intended to provide legal, tax, accounting, investment, or any other form of professional advice.
*Harborway Insurance policies are underwritten by Spinnaker Insurance Company and reinsured by Munich Re, an A+ (Superior) rated insurance carrier by AM Best. Harborway Insurance is a brand name of Harborway Insurance Agency, LLC, a licensed insurance producer in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. California license #6004217.