Successful A&E Firms: How They Do It and How You Can Too!

In the attached article, Colleen Palmer of Beazley Group Specialty Lines provides a guideline on establishing an effective risk management program. As Ms. Palmer points out early on, the goal of every design firm is to be profitable and to provide a quality design. The most successful design firms have a risk management program that is consistently used, thus keeping unnecessary costs at bay.

Construction Phase Services: Considerations for a Successful Outcome

In this article, Ms. Palmer does an excellent job explaining how proper negotiations can set the stage for clear expectations for your client. Ambiguity in contracts is what the lawyers love to exploit. It has been said that design professionals live in black and white, while the legal folks search for the gray. There is no reason why the design professional, the contractor, and project owner should not have open discussions about the Scope of Services and what is expected of the design firm prior to commencement of the project.

An Unfair Duty To Defend

Not a week goes by where the Klein Agency is asked to review a contract that includes a duty to defend clause. There is a constant dialogue with the design firms that stresses this contractual requirement is outside the scope of the Professional Liability policy. Mr Greengard does an excellent job explaining why this clause is nefarious to the design community.

Waiver of Subrogation: A Valid Defense for Architects and Engineers

As multiple courts have shown, a Waiver of Subrogation Clause has been enforceable, while other times it is not. So, when it comes time to develop one’s own contract, the design professional should consider having a Waiver of Subrogation provision included, as it might deflect a claim when another insurance company tries to recover a paid loss.

The Proposal Preparation Myth, What's Missing

Whether the firm is an architect, engineer, land surveyor (or in our case an insurance broker) there is a constant need to attract and retain clients. Messrs. Cooley and McAllister examine the RFP/RFQ process as way to differentiate yourself form your competitors. 

Relationships drive decision making.  Ask yourself, how do I choose my service providers?  From our personal experiences we prefer to work with professionals that are aware of our objectives and desired outcomes, not their own. Chances are your clients are no different; they will select a firm that listens and delivers a product that meets their expectations. 

Project Insurance: Benefits and Cautions (Part 2 of 2) In this second installment, Mr. Corbett presents some of the more common methods of Project Insurance.  While many of these methods are utilized in the design and construction community, it is imperative to understand the benefits and limitations of each option.  Unfortunately for the design professional a lot of the integrated delivery methods and insurance requirements are made without their input and consent, so it is imperative to work with an insurance broker that can interpret and explain any potential coverage gaps.

Project Insurance: Benefits and Cautions (Part 1 of 2) One thought to take away from the first installment of Mr. Corbett’s review of Project Insurance is that the insurance marketplace is much like the design community – it is ever changing and not one delivery method or coverage fits all.  When reviewing project insurance it is important to review the contract with your broker, as he/she will have a better understanding of what the insurance carriers will be able to offer. 

Making the Grade: Testing Design Professional Indemnity Obligations the enclosed article, Mr. Erickson does an excellent job explaining the pitfalls of a client drafted indemnity clause. As recent cases have shown the design professional is too often being called on to defend claims where they were not negligent. It is imperative for the design professional to understand that a Professional Liability policy may not extend defense protection to a third party.

Internal Risk Management – Part 2 of 2

Communication must not be overlooked when setting up a risk management plan; it has been a longstanding sound bite of the Klein Agency that “if it can’t be read, it was never said.” This is said so many times in our office or during continuing education seminars that are clients know that a file can never have too much correspondence. 

Avoiding Construction Administration and Site Observation Pitfalls

Practical Tips for Avoiding the Pitfalls Associated with Construction Administration and Site Observation
Excerpted from an article by :
James R. Case, Kerr, Russell and Weber, PLC

In the following excerpt, Mr. Case does an excellent job of explaining how to minimize risk, and he concludes that risk can never be eliminated.  Since risk cannot be eliminated, the next best thing to do is work with an insurance broker that specializes in Errors & Omissions coverage for Design Professionals.