ARB publishes updated guidance on professional indemnity insurance (PII)

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The ARB has issued updated Professional Liability Insurance (PII) guidance – this sets out the insurance arrangements architects need to remain in compliance with the Code of Conduct for Architects.

The updated guidelines follow consultation earlier this year, when draft changes were developed by ARB based on feedback from architects and insurers. The changes address the problems currently faced by UK architects in obtaining the insurance they need to protect themselves, their clients and the people who live in and use their buildings.

All architects are required to have adequate insurance in place. However, due to the challenges facing the built environment following the Grenfell Tower disaster and ensuing surfacing crisis, combined with global economic factors, access to PII has become more difficult for the architects.

Alan Kershaw, Chairman of the Architects Registration Board, said: “It was no longer tenable to require architects to carry insurance that they simply could not obtain. Our updated guidelines recognize that there are structural issues with the global insurance market that go beyond anything the WRA can address on its own. But the changes we’ve made mean architects should find it easier to get compliant coverage that still provides protection for consumers and the public.

The updated WRA guidelines were informed by feedback from over 300 consultation respondents. It is important that architects know the updated requirements of the guidelines and comply with them. The updated guidelines mean that:

  • However, architects must have adequate insurance before undertaking any new work.
  • Cover for certain types of claims – including fire safety and coating – can be held on a global basis and limited to cover for direct losses.
  • It will not be a fault if an architect cannot purchase retroactive insurance to cover his historical liabilities, due to new exclusions applied to his policy
  • No architect should agree to a minimum level of cover of less than £250,000
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