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There is no shortage of professional liability coverage for architects and engineers in the current competitive marketplace, observers say.
“It’s really a good time to be a good architectural or engineering firm from a professional liability insurance perspective because the rates are very competitive. A lot of people want their business,” with some 60 insurers in the sector, said Brett Fowler, Farmington, Connecticut-based vice president and program manager for AmWINS Group Inc.’s architects and engineers program.
Terms “are fairly broad, but ... I think the carriers are not looking to go beyond what they have in the policy forms, so there isn’t a lot of flexibility,” said Joe Schrancz, New York-based vice president of Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance Co.’s specialty risks architects and engineers’ group.
Insurers are “not all that willing to use the capacity that they have,” although companies can build capacity by having multiple insurers on programs, Mr. Schrancz said.
However, “As you review and analyze the different options, you do have to be mindful” of the exclusions “that may be in there,” said John Sartor, president and CEO of PS&S Integrated Services, a Warren, New Jersey-based architecture and engineering firm.
Design professionals can either purchase blanket or project-specific policies.
The market is more constricted for more complex infrastructure projects, said Dan Buelow, Chicago-based managing director of Willis Towers Watson PLC’s architects and engineers division.
The Genoa, Italy, bridge collapse in August that killed 43 could portend tragedies in the United States as well in light of its own deteriorating infrastructure and inadequate investments in maintenance and improvements.