Business Insurance For Architects

Compare business insurance quotes with Savvy to find the best policy for an architect.

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, updated on July 17th, 2023       

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We’ve partnered with BizCover to bring you a range of business insurance policies to help you compare them side by side.

Being an architect can be incredibly rewarding, particularly when you see the house, commercial building or bridge you’ve designed from scratch finally being built. It’s a profession that has many rewards, but also one that carries its fair share of risks. For this reason, having comprehensive business insurance is a must for all architects.

You can compare quotes for many types of business insurance here with Savvy. Just answer a few simple questions about your business and the insurance you need and you’ll have a wide range of offers to consider instantly from some of Australia’s most respected insurers. Compare with us to help you get the best-value insurance for your architecture business today.

What types of insurance should I buy for my architecture business?

Professional indemnity insurance

The greatest risk faced by architects worldwide is liability risk. If something goes wrong with the bridge you designed and people are killed when it collapses, you could potentially face a lawsuit running into the millions of dollars. Therefore, substantial professional indemnity insurance is essential for architects.

This policy covers you against claims that the design service you provided was negligent or fell short of expected professional standards. It’s the most important type of insurance to have for architects and is compulsory for membership in most professional associations. Cover is available starting from $2 million but can extend up to $10 million or more.

What it covers

  1. Cover for your legal defence costs
  2. Payment of compensation if there’s a successful claim against you
  3. Payment of court-awarded damages to the litigant
  4. Cover for the cost of disciplinary proceedings or disaster investigations

Cyber liability insurance

Cyber liability insurance will protect your designs from various forms of cybercrime. It is another form of insurance which is vital for architects as well as other contractors who may be working on larger design projects, in an age when there are so many cyber criminals actively trying to get hold of your client’s data.

What it covers

  1. Data breaches including theft of client information
  2. Forensic investigation into the cause of the breach
  3. Data recovery costs
  4. Cyber extortion and denial of service threats
  5. Crisis management costs
  6. Advertising and communicating with clients
  7. Legal costs, including any fines and penalties imposed

Public liability insurance

Public liability insurance is also essential for architects and most types of engineers too. It will cover you against claims that your business activity caused injury to a member of the public (or an incident which occurred whilst on your business premises) or damaged their property. This insurance can offer between $5 million and $20 million worth of coverage and is compulsory for market stallholders in most cases.

What it covers:

  1. Third-party personal injury claims
  2. Damage to a third party’s property
  3. Legal fees to defend yourself

General business insurance

General business insurance may also be worthwhile if you have tools and portable equipment to protect as part of your business. Commercial vehicles aren’t included, so you may need separate commercial vehicle protection if you have a work vehicle.

What it covers:

  1. Fire, storms, theft, vandalism and collision which cause damage to your business assets
  2. Specialist cover for electronic equipment and other portable equipment
  3. Limited business interruption insurance

What isn’t covered under my business insurance?

The most common exclusions for these types of insurance include: 

  1. Injury to yourself or your employees 
  2. Flood damage 
  3. Unlawful activity or criminal negligence 
  4. Reckless behaviour or intentional damage 
  5. Anything to do with asbestos 
  6. The effects of pollution caused by your business activity 
  7. Damage to computer hardware 
  8. The upgrading of a system not related to the cybercrime  
  9. Power outages or failure of satellite or telecommunication services 
  10. Prior known circumstances or risks 
  11. Commercial vehicles (must be covered by a separate policy)

How much will my architects’ business insurance policy cost?

There is no set cost for an insurance policy, as each applicant is different and faces unique risks. Many factors influence the cost of business insurance, including the following:  

  • The state you’re in
  • Whether you live in a rural or urban area
  • Whether you’re a sole trader, partnership, or run a business
  • Your business size or turnover
  • The number of employees you have
  • Your insurance history
  • Whether you’ve made a recent claim

The main factor which will affect the cost of your insurance is the industry you’re in. All businesses in Australia are classified according to the risk their industry poses, and are allocated a risk ratio. These ratios are used by insurers to calculate the comparative risk of any one business compared to another.

However, in general, businesses in northern parts of Australia will have higher insurance costs than businesses in the southern or eastern states. Therefore, for example, the cost of public liability insurance in the Northern Territory for an architect will be higher than a similar business in Adelaide.

You can find out exactly how much insurance will cost for your business by comparing quotes right here with Savvy. Whether you need insurance as a sole trader or a small business with several employees, you’ll be able to find a policy that is perfect for your business needs here.

Why do I need business insurance as an architect?

Business insurance is there to protect you and your business if things go wrong. However diligent and careful you are, life has a habit of throwing curveballs at us when we least expect it. Architects can be an easy target for a lawsuit if things go wrong, so the right business insurance will give you peace of mind knowing you’re protected.

You also need protection against unscrupulous cyber criminals. Consider what would happen if your computer system was broken into and your client’s sensitive plans were stolen. Years of building up your business reputation could potentially be destroyed if you don’t have adequate professional indemnity and cyber protection. Business insurance is there to ensure your revenue stream continues no matter what threats you face.

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More of your questions about business insurance for architects

Can I get a higher level of professional indemnity insurance coverage as an architect?

Yes – upper payout limits can be negotiated on an individual basis, so if you’re working on a design for a very large project and need a higher level of professional indemnity cover, just contact your insurer to increase your level of coverage.

What information will I need to make a claim on my insurance?

The information you should have to hand when you contact your insurance company to make a claim will include: 

  • The name of the policyholder 
  • Your policy number and start date (which can be found on your Certificate of Currency) 
  • A detailed description of the incident which took place, including specific dates and times 
  • Contact details of any other parties involved or witnesses to the event 
  • Details of any police report number you may have made if a crime took place 
  • Details of the value of your property lost if you’re claiming for property damage or loss 
  • Your bank details for settling the claim 
For a company of architects, is management liability insurance a good idea?

Yes – many architects do opt to take out management liability insurance as an additional precaution, as this could protect your company against claims that it failed to operate within provisions of the Trade Practices Act or if employees or ex-employees accuse you of mismanagement.

Are my business insurance premiums tax-deductible?

Yes – the Australian Taxation Office recognises that having business insurance is a legitimate cost of doing business, so the full cost of your insurance premiums can be claimed as a business expense and offset against your income.

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