What kind of insurance do architects need?
As an architect, you are tasked with designing, executing, and overseeing construction or renovation projects. These activities expose you to various risks, both professionally and personally. To protect yourself and your clients, the law requires you to have professional insurance tailored to your profession. But which ones? OOTI summarizes for you in a few words the main insurances you need. Simple and effective!
Professional Liability Insurance (RC Pro)
Professional Liability Insurance (RC Pro) is insurance that covers damages caused to third parties in the course of your professional activities. It is mandatory for architects because you can be held responsible for mistakes, errors, omissions, or negligence in the performance of your job. For example, if you make a design error that leads to a building collapse, you will have to compensate the victims and the owners.
In this regard, the Mutuelle des Architectes Français (Mutual Insurance for French Architects) is a reference. Historically, it was the organization that introduced the principle of risk pooling among architects in 1931. It offers exclusive and high-quality coverage. However, it is no longer the only option in the market, as some general insurers are also offering similar coverage.
RC Pro typically provides the following guarantees:
- Legal defense
- Legal protection
- Document reconstruction expenses
- Loss of business income
- Damage to reputation
RC Pro also has exclusions, such as intentional damages, fraudulent acts, damages caused by subcontractors, etc. The premium varies depending on your turnover, the types of projects you undertake, the level of coverage you choose, and other factors.
Ten-Year Liability Insurance (Responsabilité Décennale)
Ten-Year Liability Insurance is insurance that covers damages affecting the structural integrity or purpose of a building for ten years after its completion. It is mandatory for architects because you are responsible for the compliance and quality of your projects, as well as those of your subcontractors. For example, if you design a building with a cracking façade, you will be responsible for the repair works.
Ten-Year Liability Insurance includes several guarantees, such as:
- Coverage of repair or reconstruction expenses for the damaged structure
- Compensation for consequential non-material damages, such as loss of use, loss of rent, loss of value, etc.
- Legal protection, assisting you in case of disputes with the client or third parties
Exclusions for Ten-Year Liability Insurance include damages resulting from unforeseeable events, aesthetic issues, damages caused by the client, etc.
Construction Defects Insurance (Dommages Ouvrage)
Construction Defects Insurance is an insurance that allows the project owner to quickly receive compensation for damages affecting the structural integrity or purpose of the building, without waiting for a court to determine responsibility. It is useful for architects because it spares you from being involved in lengthy and costly legal procedures and guarantees payment of your architect fees. For example, if you construct a house with roof leaks, the project owner can have the repair expenses reimbursed by their construction defects insurer without having to prove your liability.
Here are the guarantees typically covered by most construction defects insurances:
- Quick compensation for damages, within 90 days
- Subrogation of the insurer into the rights of the project owner
- Legal recourse against responsible builders
Construction Defects Insurance does not cover damages resulting from lack of maintenance, changes to the structure, soil defects, etc.
Professional Business Insurance (Multirisque Professionnelle)
Professional Business Insurance is insurance that covers damages suffered or caused by your professional activities, your premises, your assets, or your employees. It is recommended for architects as it allows you to safeguard your professional assets and maintain your business in case of a disaster. For instance, if your office is affected by a fire, you can be compensated for the loss of equipment, documents, furniture, etc.
The guarantees provided by Professional Business Insurance typically include:
- Compensation for material damages
- Loss of business income
- Business liability coverage
- Legal protection
Professional Business Insurance does not cover damages resulting from intentional wrongdoing, war, natural disasters, acts of terrorism, etc.
Other InsurancesIn addition to the mandatory insurances (Professional Liability and Ten-Year Liability), there are other insurances that are useful for architects. They may be considered standard, but they should not be overlooked.
Health Insurance (Mutuelle Santé)
Health Insurance supplements the reimbursements provided by the Social Security system. It is necessary for you as an architect, as you, like everyone else, are exposed to the risks of illness, accidents, or stress related to your professional activities. It offers better coverage of medical expenses, including consultations and hospitalizations.
Income Protection Insurance (Prévoyance)
Income Protection Insurance is essential for architects who are not covered by the employee benefits system. It ensures the continuation of income in case of illness, disability, or death. It provides for daily allowances, disability pensions, and death benefits, among other things.
Auto Insurance is a standard insurance, but it should not be neglected. It covers damages caused to or by your vehicle in the course of your professional activities. It is essential because it is common for architects to use their vehicles for site visits, client meetings, transporting equipment, etc.
Are you ready to simplify the management of your insurances and projects as an architect? Discover OOTI today! Our software, specifically designed for architects, helps you easily track your insurance policies, manage your construction projects, and much more. Start your free trial and transform the way you handle your professional activities. With OOTI, take control and gain peace of mind. Request a demonstration of our software – it's free!