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New ESA Standard Could Impact Risk

A new standard protocol for conducting environmental due diligence studies has been published by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) and is now being put into action. In December, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency published a Final Rule that incorporates the latest version of ASTM International standard E1527-13, Practice for Environmental Site Assessments: … Continue reading

Weasel Words

When I review a contract, I give it a quick glance and broadly categorize it as either “reasonable” or one with “weasel words” before I delve into the review. Weasel words is my characterization of clauses that unreasonably shift risk to one party. Although I often use the term for owner-drafted contracts, I have run … Continue reading

Resource Review: Webinars

In an effort to familiarize you with some of the risk management resources that Schinnerer has to offer, we’ll be highlighting specific publications and resources from time to time. This installment focuses on our webinars. Webinars are online seminars featuring conversations between our risk managers and guest experts on a particular subject. What better way … Continue reading

Claims-Made vs. Occurrence-Based Insurance

Recently we have been seeing an increase in insurance requirements for design professionals that include professional liability insurance written on a per-occurrence basis, rather than on a claims-made basis. In the past, we frequently assumed this was an error on the part of the insured’s client—confusing occurrence-based general liability and automobile coverages with claims-made professional … Continue reading

The role of the Design Professional

Successful design professionals provide technical expertise and solutions for client projects. When rendering these services, design professionals often become trusted advisors to their clients. Because of their familiarity with land development and the construction process, design professionals are often consulted about matters that don’t relate to their technical expertise. For example, a civil engineer who … Continue reading

Understanding Contractually Assumed Obligations

Professional services agreements are an important risk management tool. They outline the responsibilities of both parties to the agreement and will include, at a minimum, what services the design professional will provide and what compensation, and when, the other party will pay in exchange. So for all projects large or small, and for all types … Continue reading

It’s Important to Read and Understand Your Insurance Policies

The CNA professional liability policy provides very broad coverage for damages caused by your negligence, but it does contain some exclusions, and it’s important to know what they are. For example, we recently received an inquiry from an architect who was in the process of interviewing structural engineers to provide services for a private residence. … Continue reading