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Architects insurance

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Why do you need architects insurance?

For architects, precision is key. Interpreting planning legislation, submitting tricky applications, meeting clients’ expectations with your designs – and one wrong measurement or alteration could derail a big project. While you can’t always stop errors from happening, with architects’ insurance, you can make sure you’re covered.

  • Tick iconProtection from big claims relating to to professional negligence or incorrect advice
  • Tick iconCover what you need from legal costs to tools to personal accidents
  • Tick iconPeace of mind for your business and your customers, whether it’s just you or if you have employees
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What does architects insurance cover?

The foundation for most architects is PI (professional indemnity) insurance – and if you have a team, employers’ liability insurance is a must. But did you know that there are several more types of cover on hand to protect what’s important to you? The choice is yours as we guide you through crafting your policy.

Professional indemnity insurance

In case you’ve made a mistake in your work or provided a service that didn’t meet the expected standards.

What’s typically covered by professional indemnity insurance for architects?

Legal expenses and payouts relating to claims against your business for:

  • Tick iconarchitecture advice you’ve given that turns out to be incorrect
  • Tick iconprofessional negligence that causes your client to suffer financial loss
  • Tick iconerrors in your work that cost others money to fix

For example:

  • you’re knocking through a client’s kitchen and dining room, but the additional beam you’re fitting is too small because you got your measurements wrong – so the construction work has to be put on hold, and you’re found liable for the delay to the project and the cost of a new beam
  • you’ve submitted planning permission forms on behalf of a client (or advised them on how to do fill in the forms themselves), and the council judges the forms to be incorrect, so the client sues you for the costs of their resubmission
  • a client has briefed you to design an extension to their house, and you’re working with an engineer as part of the project. But when you present your design, the client is unhappy and asks you to redo it, so you need to extend your contract with the engineer – your client then takes you to court for delaying the project

Read more about professional indemnity insurance

Public liability insurance

In case someone gets injured or their property gets damaged as a result of your architecture business.

What’s typically covered by public liability insurance for an architect?

Legal and medical expenses and payouts relating to claims against your business for:

  • Tick icondamage caused by you to someone else’s property over the course of your work as an architect
  • Tick iconinjury caused by you to someone else over the course of your work as an architect
  • Tick iconaccidental damage or injury caused by your employee (remember, if you employ people, you must have employers' liability insurance – it’s a legal requirement)

For example:

  • a client is visiting your office to look at your architecture designs, but as they enter the room, your drawing tubes fall across the floor and the client trips over them
  • you’re measuring a room in a client’s house when you stumble backwards into their TV, breaking the screen
  • your assistant is taking pictures of a client’s property and they accidentally drop the tablet they’re using, which cracks a glass table

Read more about public liability insurance

Employers’ liability insurance

In case something happens to an employee while they’re working for you.

Legal and medical expenses and payouts relating to claims against your business for:

What’s typically covered by employers’ liability insurance?

Legal and medical expenses and payouts relating to claims against your business for:

  • Tick iconan employee suing you for damages because they’ve fallen ill as a result of working for your architecture business
  • Tick iconan employee suing you for damages because they’ve suffered an injury while carrying out their work for you

**Employers’ liability insurance is required by law if you have people working for you. Without it, you could be fined up to £2,500 a day for each employee.**

For example:

  • you send an employee into a high-risk environment to take some measurements, but you haven’t given them the necessary safety gear (such as steel cap boots, gloves and a helmet), so they end up getting hurt

Tools insurance

In case your tools are lost, stolen or damaged.

What’s typically covered by tools insurance?

  • Tick icontheft of the specialist tools you use to carry out your architectural work, whether on site or stored at your business premises
  • Tick iconflood, fire, or accidental damage to your tools

For example:

  • there’s a fire in your office building, so you need to replace all your drawing equipment, modelling equipment and measuring tools

Read more about tools insurance

Business and office equipment insurance

In case things like laptops or office filing cabinets are lost, stolen, or damaged.

What’s typically covered by business and office equipment insurance?

  • Tick iconthe equipment you use in the running of your business (operational equipment rather than specialist architectural tools) while stored at your premises or out and about
  • Tick icontheft of your equipment
  • Tick iconflood, fire, or accidental damage to your equipment

For example:

  • a leak from the office upstairs causes water damage to your 3D printer, which costs a lot for you to replace
  • several laptops and phones are stolen in an overnight break-in at your office

Read more about business and office equipment insurance

Legal expenses insurance

In case you’re faced with legal costs as the owner of your architecture business.

What’s typically covered by legal expenses insurance?

  • Tick iconthe cost of resolving legal issues you’d be responsible for as the owner of your business, including tax and compliance problems and disputes with your employees
  • Tick iconhelplines for tax advice, 24/7 confidential legal advice, and crisis PR guidance – providing a quick and reliable source of support over the phone, right when you need it
  • Tick iconlegal claims and associated expenses to do with property damage, nuisance, or trespass

For example:

  • your architecture firm’s tax affairs are being looked into by HMRC, and you’re unable to field all the enquiries by yourself, so you need an accountant to give you a hand
  • you’ve let an employee go on the grounds of poor performance and they accuse you of unfair dismissal, so you need to pay for a lawyer

Read more about legal expenses insurance

Personal accident insurance

In case you or anyone you’ve covered has an accident.

What’s typically covered by personal accident insurance?

  • Tick iconlost income, medical costs, and hospitalisation benefit due to injury or death – whether at work or elsewhere – for anybody you’ve named in your policy

For example:

  • you fracture your spine in a car accident and your treatment involves wearing a back brace, so you’re unable to work for four months, and you want to pay for private physiotherapy afterwards
  • your assistant accidentally swallows a shard of glass at an industry event and spends a week recovering in hospital

Read more about personal accident insurance

How much does architects insurance cost?

Find out how much you’ll pay by comparing prices from a range of trusted insurers. You choose what goes into your policy, so you only pay for what you need.

Prices start from £5.78 per month

Get your quotes in 7 minutes – prices are guaranteed for 30 days.

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How we work out example prices We take the highest price from the bottom 10 per cent of all our customers paying in monthly instalments (based on data from 1 July - 31 December 2020). Most customers pay more than this but some pay less.

Example architects insurance quotes, real prices

£134.63 /month

£1,196.70 /year

A local architect who specialises in restoration and renovation of existing residential buildings and can take on project management

  • 1-2 years' experience
  • Sole trader
  • No employees
  • Based in Peterborough

Professional indemnity

£250,000


Public liability

Not included


Employers’ liability

Not included

£240.87 /month

£2,141.08 /year

A small architect firm who design for both residential and commerical buildings

  • 5+ years' experience
  • Limited company
  • 2 employees
  • Based in Brighton

Professional indemnity

£500,000


Public liability

£1,000,000


Employers’ liability

£10,000,000

How we work out example quotes These examples are real quotes from our online system (created 23/09/2020). They’re based on a range of factors, like employees and location. Your own quote will be based on what you tell us about your business. Prices may go up or down from day to day, so the prices you’re quoted may differ to the ones you see here.

What kind of excess should I expect?

An excess is an amount you pay towards any claim you make on your insurance. For example, if your excess is £250 and you make a claim worth £1000, your payout will be a maximum of £750.

Insurance coverLowest excessHighest excess
Professional indemnityNo excess£2500
Public liability£200£750
Tools£60£500
Employers liabilityNo excessNo excess

The figures above are for guidance only and any excess applying to your quote may differ. You’ll get a breakdown of the excesses for each quote when you compare with us.

How it works

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How do I choose insurance?

Making sure you have the right type and level of business insurance can be the difference between getting a claim paid and having to cover the cost of an expensive accident yourself. Read our tips for guidance on what to consider when buying a policy.

Can I just cover my most expensive tools?

Make sure you cover the total cost of replacing all your tools or you’ll only get a proportion of your claim paid out if something happens to them. Learn about tool cover.

Which type of workers do I need insurance for?

Employers’ liability insurance is a legal requirement if you employ people.

If you have people working for you, including bona fide subcontractors (BFSC), labour-only subcontractors (LOSC), part-timers, or full-time staff, employers’ liability insurance is required by law.

Read on for our simplified guide to the difference between labour-only subcontractors and bona fide subcontractors.

Will tools insurance cover all my equipment?

Depending on what you use to do your work, you may need other covers.

You may need more than tools insurance – for example, business equipment insurance if you have a work laptop, plant insurance if you use machinery.

Does architects insurance cover my work correctly?

Make sure you're picking the right cover to protect you properly. It's important to know that if you have another trade or job, you'll need additional cover. For example, do you need to consider builders insurance or interior design insurance?

Do I need cover for other types of work?

If you provide these services alongside building work, make sure you’re covered:

Other types of insurance

Which public liability cover limit should I choose?

Think about the maximum possible loss your business could face in the event of a claim, and make sure you take legal fees and damages into consideration. You can choose from three levels of coverage – £1 million, £2 million, or up to £5 million.


Talk to an expert

Our team of UK-based insurance experts are here to help, Mon 09.00am - 05.30pm, Tues 09.00am - 05.30pm, Weds 09.00am - 05.30pm, Thurs 09.30am - 05.30pm, Fri 09.00am - 05.00pm, Sat 09.00am - 02.00pm

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How do claims work?

Unlike price comparison websites, we take the hassle out of claims for you. We know how important it is to get your business back on track quickly – and with a minimum of fuss. That’s why you get access to your dedicated claims any time, day or night. Call them on 0333 207 0560 or claim online. They’ll do their best to be fair and supportive. The figure below is rounded across our range of products. Our claims process may vary for different products and operates on a ‘claim by claim’ basis.

£30 million in claims paid out in 2019

Paying 80% of settled claims within 24 hours in 2019

Example claim

Having architects’ insurance through Simply Business has saved architects thousands of pounds when the unexpected happened.

Elaine saved more than £38,000

As part of her architecture service, Elaine (not her real name) agreed to handle the sale tax for her client, but the council claimed that she’d filled in some of the forms incorrectly. Elaine was held responsible for the mistake, and this turned out to be very expensive. Luckily her insurance covered it all.

Insurance payout

£38,173.18

Covering the cost of putting things right


Elaine’s costs

£100

The excess amount stated in Elaine’s policy terms

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We started out as a team of five back in 2005. We’ve grown since then with 800,000 customers across 1,500 trades now trusting us to provide their business insurance.

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Architects insurance FAQ

Whether you’re new to buying business insurance or you’ve been trading for a while, here are the answers to some commonly asked questions about architects’ insurance.

  • In the world of architectural services, Professional indemnity insurance usually covers everything from design to planning permission to project management.

    The level of cover you need depends on a combination of criteria that’s unique to you, including the structure of your business and the value of the architectural work you do (calculated by looking at your turnover for the past year). And you’ll often find that the amount of cover you require for a particular project is specified in the contract.

    It’s easy to find this out within a few minutes when you get a quote with us.

  • In the words of the Architects Registration Board, “all architects in business or practice are expected to hold adequate insurance; this is usually in the form of professional indemnity insurance and is expected under Standard 8 of the Architects Code of Conduct.”

    Even architects with several decades of experience get things wrong sometimes. In the worst case scenario, this could mean the collapse of a building, which is why errors can sometimes lead to newsworthy compensation claims and court cases.

    We can help you get a quote for professional indemnity insurance in just a few minutes.

  • Yes. It’s important to make sure you have the right type and level of insurance for the different types of work you do. For example, if you’re a plumber, you may also do building work on certain jobs – you’ll need additional cover for this, but you can have it all on the one policy. When you start your quote, you’ll have the option to add another trade or profession to your policy. If you need to add a third trade, give us a call on 0333 043 8527 and one of our insurance experts will help you set up your policy in minutes.

  • If you change your business legal structure from sole trader to limited company mid-way through your policy, give us a call straight away on 0333 043 8527. It’ll only take us a few minutes to cancel your existing policy and replace it with one that correctly covers your new legal structure. It’s worth bearing in mind that your insurer and premium amount may need to change.

  • This will depend on whether you have employers’ liability insurance in place. Public liability insurance is designed to protect your business against the consequences of legal action brought by members of the public for injuries or damage to their belongings. But when it comes to your employees causing injury or damage, this protection only activates if you also have employers’ liability insurance.

    If you employ people, you’re required by law to have employers’ liability insurance.

    There’s one exception here. Family businesses that aren’t incorporated as a limited company are not legally required to have employers’ liability insurance. The government defines a “family business” as one where all your employees are closely related to you (as a spouse, civil partner, sibling, child, parent, grandparent, grandchild, step-parent, stepchild or half-sibling). So if you run an unincorporated family business and you choose not to get employers’ liability insurance, it’s important to know that your public liability insurance wouldn’t cover you against damage or injury caused by your team.

We create this content for general information purposes and it should not be taken as advice. Always take professional advice. Read our full disclaimer

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