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Lisa Lawyer
Lisa Lawyer, Solicitor
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I am currently investigating starting my own architectural

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I am currently investigating starting my own architectural company. I intend to start by operating from a home office and am looking for advice on what insurances I have to have in place to operate?
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Hello and thank you for your email. My name is ***** ***** I'd be happy to assist.

As you are no doubt aware, the ARB’s Architects Code says that architects are “expected to have adequate and appropriate insurance cover,” while surveyors regulated by RICS must have “adequate and appropriate professional indemnity insurance cover.” There are a range of different cover types that you might consider as an architect.

Professional indemnity insurance

Professional indemnity insurance is essential - it is designed to protect you against financial claims resulting from mistakes or faulty advice that you have given. This could be anything ranging from a minor design error to a collapsing building.

You need to give careful thought to the level of cover you require - The ARB suggests cover of at least £250,000, but providers can offer cover running into millions, and your clients will often require minimum level of cover before instructing you.

Public liability insurance

Public liability insurance is key, since your business will be interacting with members of the public, be it suppliers, contractors, or lay clients. It provides cover against compensation claims arising from injury or damage caused by you during the course of your work. Claims of this sort can be extremely expensive in the case of death or serious injury or death, and levels of cover are therefore traditionally high - usually starting at around £1m but can run to high figure sums.

Business buildings insurance

Much like your home insurance, business buildings insurance covers you against damage to the premises from which you are operating, while business contents insurance protects equipment and furnishings, and sometimes also your fixtures and fittings. Although you are proposing to work from home, this cover is advisable since it is likely that your home insurance policy excludes any business within a domestic property.

Employers' Liability Insurance

Finally, as your business grows, employers’ liability insurance is usually a legal requirement if you employ any staff, even on a short-term, casual, or contract basis

These policies need not be separate policies - many business insurance providers offer global policies that can be tailored to your specific needs. A good broker will be able to advise you on the best and most economic package for you.

As an aside, if you are starting a business run from home there are a couple of other things to be considered - if your property is mortgaged, does it allow business use from the home or do you need to inform your mortgage lender of this proposal? Also, is there anything in your property title which would prevent your property from being used for business purposes? These things are often overlooked but can cause problems down the line if they are not addressed at an early stage.

I hope that this assists. Please do reply below if you have any further questions or would like any aspect of my response clarified. If my comments are of assistance, I would be grateful if you would confirm by accepting and rating this response. This can be done by selecting one of the five stars located on the top right of the question page and enables me to gain credit for the time taken in responding to your query. Please note that rating the response will not close this question - you will still be able to post below with any further queries or comments.

Kind regards

Lisa

Lisa Lawyer, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 106
Experience: Qualified solicitor
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Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Morning Lisa, many thanks for you reply. It is very informative and confirms my own investigations. Thanks again

No problem - thanks again for using Just Answer.

All the best

Lisa