Building & Design Professionals

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Why do Building & Design Professionals need insurance?

Whether you’re an architect, landscape designer, engineer or building designer, in your field of work, there’s a lot that can go wrong. Be it a minor error on your part leading to a faulty design, a client tripping and falling over at your office, or a storm causing damage to your business’s premises, running your own business comes with its fair share of risk. The financial implication of these types of events can significantly disrupt the operation of your business.

Fortunately, there are several insurance covers available to you to help protect your business against the financial consequences of these types of incidents. Aon can arrange several different insurance covers which have been tailored to suit the risks of your industry. Get a quote online in a few minutes, or call 1300 836 028 to chat to one of our team.

Insurance we can arrange

Frequently Asked Questions

As a Design Professional, do I need both Professional Indemnity (PI) and Public Liability (PL)?

Both PI & PL are important insurance covers for your business. PI insurance helps provide cover for claims made against your business by clients claiming that your specialist services or advice caused them financial loss. PL insurance may help you to pay the costs associated with a third party injuring themselves or damaging their property as a result of your business, or due to using products that you offer.

How much Professional Indemnity Insurance do I need?

This will depend on a number of factors such as your profession, your business needs and the clients you work with. Some professions are required by law to hold a minimum level of cover, and some clients may require you to have a minimum level of cover to work for them. Many PI Insurance policies start at a minimum cover of $1 million, but you should decide the appropriate limit for you and consult with your broker about this if you need to.

I run my business from home, what insurance do I need? (general)

If you run your business from home, the insurance you need will vary based on the type of business you run. If you provide professional advice, you may need to consider Professional Indemnity Insurance. If you see clients in person, such as having meetings, you may need to consider Public Liability Insurance. If you have a digital footprint, Cyber Insurance might also be a wise cover to look into. If you are unsure of the insurance you need, taking the time to talk to a broker may be worthwhile, and help ensure you're not left with any gaps in cover.

I operate my practice from home, do I need insurance?

If you operate your practice from home, Professional Indemnity is still relevant as the risk of clients alleging professional negligence on your part is still applicable. It's likely at some point, you will meet with clients in person, whether that's at their home, or out in public, so Public & Products Liability is also very relevant for you. Business Insurance can also help cover the cost of your office equipment such as mobile phone or laptop if they're stolen or damaged.

What if I retire or leave the profession?

Professional Indemnity insurance policies arranged by Aon are ‘Claims made and notified’ policies. This means that the policy only provides cover for claims made against you whilst the policy is in force (subject to policy terms and conditions). If the policy lapses, is not renewed or is cancelled, there is no cover available under the policy for claims made against you after that time.

If you plan to retire or leave the professional, you may need to arrange Run-Off cover. Run-off cover provides cover for claims made against you after your current Professional Indemnity policy expires. Run-off cover is NOT automatically provided; you must apply for run-off cover AND be accepted by your insurer in order to have run-off cover apply. If your policy is lapsed, not renewed or cancelled, and you have not applied for run-off cover, you may be uninsured for any claims made against you after your current policy expires, lapses or is cancelled.

For example if a client makes a claim against you in relation to an act, error or omission committed in past work, the policy you have in place at the time of the claim will respond, not the policy in place at the time the work was performed.

Am I covered if third parties are at fault?

If you engage consultants, contractors, subcontractors or agents, PI insurance arranged through Aon can include cover where they make any errors or omissions for which your business is liable. This part of the policy is known as Vicarious Liability cover.

Can I get project and construction management cover?

Yes. If you’re project managing or construction managing as well as doing the design work, we help ensure that you’re covered for all parts of the role (as specified on your policy schedule) – not just the design. This is an optional extra, and an additional premium will apply.

Do I need to take out separate insurance to cover my employees?

Yes, if you employ staff, you will need to take out Workers Compensation Insurance. You can speak to your state regulator about your needs as coverage and legislation varies between different states

What is an automatic reinstatement?

Under a PI policy for Design Professionals arranged through Aon, if a claim amounts to your cover maximum, the insurer will automatically reinstate your cover value – up to five times. For example, if you are insured for $1 million of cover and you have a claim that hits $1 million, the insurer will reinstate the cover value so that the next claim still has $1 million of cover. This feature is not automatically included under all Professional Indemnity policies, so it’s important to ensure you review the policy wording prior to making a decision.

Why might I need Cyber Insurance?

Your high-value client base, the commercially sensitive information you hold about them and the raft of cloud based and online technologies you use all make you susceptible to cyber crime. For cyber criminals, attacking your system wouldn't require much effort on their part, but the ramifications for you (and your clients) could be far-reaching. Cyber Insurance can therefore help safeguard your business's viability if you do fall victim to an attack, and help make sure you're not left with substantial out of pocket costs to rectify your IT systems and get your business back up and running.

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Ways to get in touch

Or call us on 1300 836 028, email us on [email protected]

1Subject to full terms, conditions and limits of the policy. Please review the full policy wording for more information.

Professional Indemnity Insurance for Design Professionals is arranged by Aon Risk Services Australia Limited ABN 17 000 434 720 AFSL 241141 (Aon) as agent for the insurer, Insurance Australia Limited trading as CGU Insurance, ABN 11 000 016 722 AFSL 227681. If you purchase this insurance Aon will receive a commission that is a percentage of the premium. Please let us know if you would like any further information.