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Commercial General Liability
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PROFESSIONAL LIABILITY

The construction market is rapidly moving towards design-build as the contract method of choice. The advantages are obvious to everyone, but you as the contractor assume significant additional liability. Even if you subcontract the design work to a reputable, fully insured architect, your risks are many:

  1. You have no coverage unless the design error resulted in bodily injury or property damage. If the building simply did not meet the specifications, life safety codes, fire codes, or if there was any other problem that did not result in physical injury or damage, your only protection is the architect's insurance.
  2. Architects generally carry very low insurance limits, if any, and they are often restrictive in coverage.
  3. Architects' policies are "claims made," meaning coverage must be in effect at the time the claim is made. Most professional liability claims are filed 3 - 7 years after the job is complete. What protection do you have if the architect discontinues his insurance or discontinues his business? What are the chances of having legitimate protection if a claim is first filed 9 or 10 years after completion of the project?
  4. The owner has a contract with you and demands immediate corrections. Litigation with an architect, even if successful, could take several years.