This tag is associated with 18 posts

Extended reporting periods—do I need one?

Because professional liability insurance policies are written on a “claims-made and reported basis,” there is no coverage for claims once the policy has terminated or been cancelled—unless you have an extended reporting period (ERP). An ERP extends the policy to allow for the reporting of claims that are made against you during the term of … Continue reading

DRBs help bring projects in on time and on budget

Dispute resolution boards (DRBs)—sometimes also referred to as dispute review boards—have been shown to significantly reduce claims and disputes on construction projects, resulting in greater cost savings for all of the stakeholders. A DRB is a panel of impartial, specifically-trained professionals formed at the beginning of a project that encourages resolution of disputes at the … Continue reading

Should you be concerned about consequential damage claims?

Recently, I’ve received a number of telephone calls from design firms concerned about consequential damage claims and contract language that refers to these damages. I thought it might be a good time to take a look at how this affects design professionals. Here are some of the questions I’ve received: 1. “What are consequential damages?” … Continue reading

Definition of “success” is relative for condo claims

Condominium work is coming back strong after being scarce for several years. Many millennials and other first time buyers can and want to invest in condo units in urban areas. And renting is less attractive to a maturing class of residential owners as they downsize from single-family homes. Condo projects can be tempting work for … Continue reading

Claims corner: what causes claims against land surveyors?

In Schinnerer’s land surveyors program, houses and townhouses are the project type with the most claims in terms of frequency (35.8%) and severity (33.3%), followed closely by land and site development (30.6% frequency / 26.9% severity). The problem areas (those areas that cause claims during the course of the surveyor providing professional services) that create … Continue reading

Claims corner: as schools open, design professionals fear claims will too

Students are returning to school. Teachers are preparing curricula; Parents are breathing a sigh of relief. And design professionals are concerned that a school they designed could result in a claim. Should these design professionals be worried? Except for residential projects, schools & colleges generate the most claims (frequency) and the most expensive claims (severity) … Continue reading

Employers beware: EEOC weighs in on transgender issue

Transgender employees have the right to work in an environment that is free of discrimination and harassment, the same as any other employee. The discomfort, prejudice, and anxiety of employees, supervisors, or customers do not justify discriminatory treatment of transgender employees. The EEOC recently announced the first resolution of a lawsuit challenging discrimination based upon … Continue reading

Why per-claim and aggregate limits matter

Does it really matter if your professional services agreement only requires your firm to carry professional liability insurance with a per-claim limit of $1,000,000? It may. The appropriate language for stating the limits of professional liability coverage under a policy is “per-claim with an aggregate limit.” No U.S. professional liability policy provides unlimited coverage during … Continue reading

As claims from governments soar, be wary of sovereign immunity

In State of Connecticut v. Lombardo Brothers Mason Contractors, Inc., et al., the Connecticut Supreme Court explicitly recognized the antiquated common law doctrine of nullum tempus occurit regi (no time runs against the king) as a well-established part of Connecticut common law. In applying this doctrine, the court ruled that the state is allowed to … Continue reading

Avoid the seven deadly sins of professional practice

If you want to minimize disputes with your clients and reduce the likelihood of litigation, avoid these “seven deadly sins” that represent the biggest sources of risk: Failure to carefully choose your clients and your projects. Client selection can help minimize the chances of a claim, especially since 62% of claims against design professionals in … Continue reading