Risk Management & Professional Indemnity Insurance


Articles from Communiqué Newsletters and Other Useful Information

Membership Benefits

Members of NZACS gain access to PI Insurance at bulk discount rates and assistance in
times of need by experienced architects.

Cautionary Tale

Completion Certificates.  

The usual purposes of completion certificates are to verify practical completion in terms of the contract, and/or sufficient for occupation, and/or as required for finance purposes. 

If defects are later discovered, there is a potential for a claim on the basis that you approved unacceptable work. 

Do not be pressured into issuing a certificate you may later have cause to regret. 

Do not assume that “conditions” you attach to a certificate will later be interpreted as you intend.

Risk Management is the process of identifying, assessing, responding to and controlling risks.

  • Risk management checklists, guidance and articles are included under resources.
  • Claims can be resource-hungry, stressful, and potentially damaging to reputations.
  • In architecture, prudent risk management includes taking out professional indemnity insurance.
  • The PI cover arranged through NZACS is only available to members, provides bulk purchase cost savings, and is on policy terms negotiated by and for architects.
  • In the event of an actual or potential claim under the professional indemnity cover arranged through NZACS, a claims committee of experienced and practising architects is available for support, advice, and risk assessment, and to liaise between the member, insurers, and the legal and technical inputs.  

Professional indemnity (“PI”) insurance provides cover to the professional in the event of a liability to others arising through negligence or otherwise.

  • It provides financial support for legal and technical assistance.
  • It is provided on a "claims made and notified” basis, i.e. the policy must be in force when the claim is notified, notwithstanding that the events giving rise to the claim may have occurred some time previously.
  • It requires actual or potential claims to be notified as soon as they are apparent

Features of the basic PI cover arranged through NZACS:

  • automatic reinstatement after a claim in the policy year
  • availability of run-off cover following business cessation
  • excess and cover levels set by the insured firm
  • premiums are set at the time of application for cover
  • access to individual policy documentation via this website

Policy extensions available subject to adjustment in premium:

  • runoff cover in  the event of cessation of business, death or retirement
  • dishonesty of partners or employees
  • defamation
  • loss of documents (including computer records)
  • quasi-judicial representation costs (arbitration, mediation etc.)
  • statutory liability (for fines and penalties set by statute)
  • employers liability (for employee claims outside ACC legislation)
  • employment practices liability (arising out of employment contracts)

Claim notification, and applications for PI or other insurance

  • Applications for NZACS membership and for PI cover are available here
  • A comprehensive range of personal and business cover is available to members here
  • Forms and guidance for notifying an actual or potential claim are available here

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