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Innovation Comes with Risk: The Need for Architects E&O Insurance


As an architect, you may remember the famous MIT lawsuit against Frank Gehry in 2007 over the design and functionality of its 720,000-square-foot nine-story Stata Center. The research building was opened in 2004, and after developing several issues such as leaks, cracking bricks, mold, and snow falling onto the sidewalk, MIT sued Gehry and Beacon Skanska, the builder. No amount was named for the damages and the suit was eventually settled out of court this past April. The terms of the settlement were not disclosed, so we won’t really know what actually happened.

But before the settlement, there was a great deal of criticism, with people calling it a disaster and tainting the architect’s and contractor’s name. And whether you think the building is brilliant or not, creativity and innovation came with risk and cost everyone involved.

Does this happen only with well-known names like Gehry. Of course not. Which is why architectural firms need to protect themselves with a specially designed insurance Errors and Omissions, or Professional Liability, policy. This policy will cover you for claims as a result of alleged omissions or mistakes, including structural defects, pollution and contaminates, and other issues. It will cover not only your defense costs, but also any judgments that may arise from the litigation, even if the claim was groundless.

Keep your creative juices flowing, but be sure to properly protect yourself and staff against the risks that come with your profession.

At Axis Insurance Services, our Errors and Omissions product covers architects, engineers, structural design consultants, safety engineers, design build engineers, and drafting Professionals.

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Blogged on: October 6, 2011 by Mike Smith
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