What Insurance Should Structural Engineers Have?
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What Insurance Should Structural Engineers Have?

Post by JDB247 » Tue Apr 09, 2019 8:10 am

Hi :)
Hope I've picked the correct forum and you can help...
I've got planning permission for a domestic house extension which involves the need for a structural engineer (SE) - RSJ's involved.
My architect has passed this work onto a colleague of his who has come back with a quote. The SE has stated that he does not carry Personal Indemnity Insurance (but also states it is low risk, straight-forward domestic work that will be checked by "building control").
Should I expect the SE to have this or Public Liability Insurance or both?
I've read that the process can be simpler if the architect and SE know each other/work together regularly but, obviously, I don't want to be the one culpable if something goes wrong.
Any advice appreciated.

Hugh Schkok
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Re: What Insurance Should Structural Engineers Have?

Post by Hugh Schkok » Thu Apr 25, 2019 9:14 pm

I can see why a personal indemnity insurance and a PK insurance however you would hard pushed to get any cover if you are not a registered SE. As in university educated and a member of a professional body. The exposure could be at an unsustainable level and in turn force a client and an SE into administration. However the home owner loses the most by far, around the as the cost of frock for Meghan Merkle/Wales.

The insurance I have personally have is a complex beast and I am convinced is written in Mandarin. for my projects it is a PL cover and a buildings indemnity jobby.

The insurers now have a cover specifically modelled for those in the building, construction and architectural professions. It is not cheap but could prove so if a job goes t*** up. My architectural and SE covers have to continue in for seven years if I die or decide it's more lucrative to import rubber dog poo from China. The buildings don't just go away failure is not usually a forecastable event nor either of the resultant effect of one part failing and taking other bits with it. I think the only way you're going to get the right and most cost effective deal from a ' one size fits all' deal is to sit dwn with a insurance consultant (not a broker) and talk to him stating your present and potential future needs that my need to be covered. There are way too many con artists wearing an electricians hat and have rewired Buck House and even the Pentagon who set homes ablaze. When they evaporate into the ether the home owner has to find a way out of the mess using their building contents cover and the insurers don't really like that sort of thing at all.

I hope this helps and don't tell any fibs because insurer know have experienced, tried in court all denied claims because the policy holder did not disclose that the home owner actually closed what they deem as vital windows in the winter!

They will wriggle and squirm like Barry Manilowe in the grip of a horney black bear while soaking up some rays on Copacabana beach while covered in sunblock35 and just his Speedos on. It never ends well

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Re: What Insurance Should Structural Engineers Have?

Post by richardanthonyj » Sun Jul 07, 2019 10:36 am

I would have to agree whole heartedly with Hugh Schkok on ths one. I'm not chartered but have 6 years of University, 3 years Initial professional Development in a Consultancy, 4 years as Senior designer and 20 odd years in practice. I wouldnt even contemplate doing that withoout carrying Public Liability and professional indemnity. Practicing Engineers, even those not chartered, should have sufficient experience and qualifications to allow them to be suitably insured. Its a complex beast, not least becasue when something goes wrong, the questions start with Building control and follow on from there to cover such aspects as Designer, contractor, specifications, workmanship. From the point of view of someone who sits at both ends of the pointy sharp stick, I can attest to insurance as being invaluable in this industry. Poking the stick when things go wrong is fascinating for me but being at the other end, without someone having my back? No thanks.

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