Indemnity insurance guidance

ARB publishes updated guidance on professional indemnity insurance (PII), to address concerns about changes in the market that impact architects. This sets out the insurance arrangements architects need to remain compliant with the Architects Code of Conduct.

The updated guidance follows a consultation earlier this year, when draft changes were developed by ARB based on feedback from architects and insurers. The changes address the issues currently faced by the UK’s architects in securing the insurance they need to protect themselves, their clients and the people who live in and use their buildings.

All architects are expected to have adequate insurance arrangements in place. However, because of the challenges the built environment faces following the Grenfell Tower disaster and subsequent cladding crisis, combined with global economic factors, access to PII has become more difficult for architects.

Alan Kershaw, Chair of the Architects Registration Board, said:

“It was no longer tenable to require architects to hold insurance they simply could not obtain. Our updated guidance recognises that there are structural issues with the global insurance market that go beyond anything ARB can resolve on its own. But the changes we have made mean architects should find it easier to get compliant cover that still provides protection for consumers and the public.”

ARB’s updated guidance has been informed by the feedback from over 300 consultation respondents. It is important that architects are aware of the updated guidance requirements and comply with them. The updated guidance means that:

  • It will remain the case that architects should have adequate insurance before undertaking any new work.
  • Coverage for certain types of claims – including fire-safety and cladding – can be held on an aggregate basis, and limited to covering direct losses.
  • It will not be a matter of misconduct if an architect cannot acquire retrospective insurance to cover historic liabilities, because of new exclusions applied to their policy
  • No architect should accept a minimum level of cover below £250,000

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