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ARB launches consultation on changes to PII requirements

Posted: 16th May 2022

The Architects Registration Board (ARB) has published new draft guidance on the insurance arrangements architects are expected to have in place to remain compliant with its Code of Conduct.

Professional Indemnity Insurance (PII) has a vital role in consumer protection. It provides cover so that if a project goes wrong, the parties who suffer loss can make a claim. This reassurance is essential for architects, their clients, and the people who will live in and use their buildings.

The Architects Code of Conduct sets out the PII that architects are expected to have in place, which is underpinned by ARB guidance which explains how compliance with the Code can be achieved. However it has become increasingly apparent that for some architects, changes in the insurance market outside their control means that meeting the existing guidance may no longer be possible.

Under ARB’s proposed changes:

  • It would remain the case that architects should have adequate insurance before undertaking any new work.
  • Coverage for certain types of claims – including fire-safety and cladding – could be held on an aggregate basis, and limited to covering direct losses.
  • It would not be a matter of misconduct if an architect cannot acquire retrospective insurance to cover historic liabilities, because of new exclusions applied to their policy
  • No architect should accept a minimum level of cover below £250,000 for each and every claim.

The draft guidance has been produced following research and engagement with the insurance market and professional bodies. ARB is now asking for wider views before it is finalised and comes into force later this year. ARB’s intention is to bring in changes which are proportionate and risk based, whilst acknowledging that there are wider structural issues with the global insurance market which ARB cannot resolve on its own.

Find out more here, and take the survey. The survey will close on Monday 4 July.