Skip to main content

Technical Briefs

Insurance and risk management issues to consider when managing A&E risk

Contact Us

Negotiating the duty to defend

Anyone that has been tasked with negotiating an owner drafted agreement has likely been faced with a “defend” obligation within the indemnity provision. This technical brief will explain the issues and challenges associated with the defend obligation.

Read more

Do design professionals have fiduciary relationship with their clients?

The question of whether or not a design professional is a fiduciary to their clients has been tested over the years. A recent movement has raised this question again that, if successful, would have broad legal implications for licensed design professionals.

Read more

Insuring single projects

On occasion, an architect and/or engineering (A&E) firm may take on a project where their prospective client is requiring higher professional liability (PL) insurance limits than what the firm currently has in place. Given that an A&E’s PL insurance policy is arguably the only asset an owner can look to in the event of a PL related claim, it’s certainly reasonable for any owner to question the adequacy of the A&E firm’s PL insurance limits. This technical brief will attempt to address the options available to a design firm and owner when it comes to increasing PL limits and insuring single projects.

Read more

A&E professional liability insurance limits: Issues to consider

A design firm’s professional liability (PL) risks are by far it’s greatest exposure, and their A&E’s PL practice policy is by far their most important insurance coverage. While there is no hard and fast rule as to how much PL insurance limit a design firm should carry, there are a number of variables that every firm will need to consider.

Read more

M&A and prior acts: Considerations for the design firm

There are many reasons a design firm may decide to buy, sell or merge their practice with another firm. However, there are only a few available options when it comes to addressing the prior act exposures of the firm being acquired. This technical brief will provide an overview of the issues to consider when it comes to addressing the professional liability prior act exposure when an A&E firm merges with or is acquired by another firm.

Read more

Emerging risks and claim trends in the design profession

Dan Buelow, Managing Director of WTW A&E, and Mark Blankenship, Director of Risk Management of WTW A&E, recently published a three-part series white paper in STRUCTURE magazine on the topic of emerging risks and claim trends in the design profession. This extensive review was based on the survey results of 12 leading A&E professional liability insurance carriers.

Read Part 1

Read Part 2

Read Part 3

Climate change risk considerations

Property owners who sustain weather-related damage may claim that the design professional failed to meet the standard of care even if the design met current code requirements. To defend against these claims, we recommend that the subject of adaptive and resilient design be discussed with the goal of securing informed consent from the client to the agreed upon level of resilience. This agreement should be backed with appropriate documentation and contract language.

Read more 

Artificial intelligence

The ability of AI to process and analyze large amounts of data and make predictions presents a significant opportunity to improve the efficiency of design and project monitoring.

Read more 

Contact us