ASCE Member Insurance Blog

Know the Limits of Your Contract

Posted on 4/15/2016 by ASCE Insurance in Construction Contracts Legal

General contractors and developers rarely have insurance covering construction defect claims, and they regularly become insolvent and/or judgment proof after a project is completed. Because of this, homebuyers often attempt to expand the duties of design professionals beyond those imposed by common law or agreed to in a contract. Illinois homebuyers recently attempted to expand the duties and attendant liability of design professionals by arguing the doctrine of implied warranty of habitability applies to design professionals.

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Effective Ways to Handle Claims

Posted on 4/15/2016 by ASCE Insurance in Claims Liability Reporting

When claims surface during an ongoing project, engineers are often under pressure to act quickly in order to prevent further damages. However, acting too hastily may jeopardize their insurance coverage. It’s imperative for the engineer to report claims to their professional liability insurance carrier immediately.

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How Document Retention Could Save You

Posted on 12/17/2015 by ASCE Insurance in Legal Documentation Spoilation Sanctions

A professional’s inability to produce important evidence during a lawsuit alleging negligence may result in sanctions.1 State law determines whether spoliation of evidence may result in sanctions, and the nature of any sanctions imposed against a party who fails to preserve important evidence can vary greatly by state.

By Terri Stough, Esq.

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Getting to Know Your Retroactive Date

Posted on 12/17/2015 by ASCE Insurance in Claims Reporting Coverage Requirements Lapse

There are typically two initial timing requirements that must be met in order for there to be a potential for coverage under your professional liability (PL) insurance policy.1 The first requirement is that the claim must be first made (i.e., received by the insured) during the coverage period.

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A Closer Look at Your Reporting Requirements

Posted on 10/15/2015 by ASCE Insurance in Legal Reporting Documentation

All professional architects and engineers risk having claims brought against them in relation to their work. Some claims may have merit. However, some professionals can get caught in a wide net cast by a claimant trying to recoup unexpected losses, regardless of actual fault. Notwithstanding the frivolity of a claim, once a case settles or a judgment is rendered, you may be obligated by your state to report the settlement or judgment to your professional board.

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How to Avoid Uncovered Exposure

Posted on 10/15/2015 by ASCE Insurance in Claims Liability Coverage Policy Information

Almost all professional liability (PL) insurance policies are written on a claims-made basis. It is important to understand the claims-made nature of your PL policy, as it is a fundamental aspect of your insurance coverage.

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When Drones Hit The Sky

Posted on 8/14/2015 by ASCE Insurance in Liability Drones Coverage

The market for drones, or unmanned aircraft systems, has ballooned into a 2.5 billion dollar industry, and is growing 15% to 20% annually.1 Engineers have found that drones can play a vital role in their work.

By Giovanny Avendaño, Esq.

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The Truth About Tolling Agreements

Posted on 8/14/2015 by ASCE Insurance in Claims Legal Reporting Tolling

A “tolling agreement” is “an agreement between a potential plaintiff and a potential defendant by which the defendant agrees to extend the statutory limitations period on the plaintiff’s claim, usually so that both parties will have more time to resolve their dispute without litigation.”1

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What You Need to Know About Liability Clauses

Posted on 3/13/2015 by ASCE Insurance in Contracts Legal Liability Clause

Many architects and engineers incorporate a limitation of liability clause into their contracts. A limitation of liability clause is exactly what it sounds like: a clause that limits your liability in the event of a claim. Limitation of liability clauses establish “a contractual ceiling on the amount of damages to be awarded if a plaintiff prevails in later litigation between the contracting parties.” Therefore, a limitation of liability clause is a useful precautionary piece of armor to include in your contract.

By Sarah A. Johnson, Esq.

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How to Memorialize Your Scope of Services

Posted on 3/13/2015 by ASCE Insurance in Claims Contracts Legal Reporting

Recent claims have revealed that a number of engineers have not been memorializing the scope of their services in writing, either in a written contract or even in a written work order. While this may not be problematic if the project proceeds smoothly, projects often involve complications and issues, leaving the client/owner dissatisfied with some aspect of work. Nor is it unusual for serious construction defects to surface after the completion of a project. Thus, the best practice is for you to routinely memorialize the scope of your services in writing, preferably through the use of a written contract.

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