NAICS CANADA CODE: 541310 Architectural Services

Description of Operations:

Architects are responsible for the actual design of a building or project. They then prepare the plans and all construction documents. This work includes all of the detailed specifications of type and grade of construction material, and the size, space, location, and grade of land, just to name a few details. The architect of a project is often called to either be a part of the actual construction operation or to closely consult and monitor the operation, as well as to be available for clarification, advice, and updates/modifications to the original plan.

Architects often use the services of engineers, or may also be trained as engineers to confirm or develop the specifications of detailed portions of a project. Both need to be concerned with rules, codes, and regulations, as well as the physical sciences of the project under development. Architects are not limited to new buildings, but provide a multitude of other design services, which include (but are not limited to): renovation of existing buildings, highways, bridges, dams, marine facilities, and variety of health and entertainment complexes.

  • Property exposure is that of an office. Storage of paper is an important part of the operations. All should be in file cabinets and a no-smoking policy should be in effect.

  • Inland marine exposures involve Accounts Receivable, Computers, Valuable Papers and Special Floaters. The valuable papers include drawings that are on the boards. It is important to have duplicates and that all be stored in fireproof cabinets. The computers are extremely sophisticated and specific for each job. All software and data should be on backup disks and stored off site. The job will determine the equipment that is needed off site. Proper packing and security is necessary.

  • Crime exposure is from Employee Dishonesty. There must be procedures on ordering and a separation between billing and disbursements.

  • Occupiers’ liability on site is limited since customers don’t frequently come on premises. There is more of an off-site exposure that can include job sites and clients’ offices. There should be policies in place that direct acceptable behaviors.

  • Professional liability exposure is extensive. The types of jobs accepted determine the potential for loss. Different types of jobs also require varied levels of knowledge and expertise. For example, bridge design will require a different type of knowledge than a one-family dwelling. All employees who design should have appropriate accreditations, and continuing education should be required. Independent verification of education, background, and licences and certifications should be required for all professionals.

  • Automobile liability exposure is mainly Hired Non-Owned and rental exposure. If there is owned auto exposure, there should be a stated policy on personal use and permissive uses.

  • Workplace safety exposure will vary based on type of job. Much of the job is done in the office and therefore requires ergonomically designed workstations. In addition, there may be the off-site exposures, e.g., bridge work, oil derricks or housing developments. There must be an awareness of past jobs in order to determine the future exposure.

Minimum recommended insurance coverage for architects:

Business Personal Property, Dishonesty, Disappearance and Destruction, Accounts Receivable, Computers, Valuable Papers, Special Floater, General Liability, Professional, Umbrella, Non-owned Automobile

Other Insurance coverages to consider for architects :

Computer Fraud, Employment Practices Liability.