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Common E&O insurance mistakes that civil engineers make

May 24, 2023 · 5 minutes to read

Civil engineers are essential to building and maintaining public infrastructure and private building projects. The importance of your work means that even the smallest mistake in it could cause big problems down the track. This is one reason why many in the field seek civil engineering Errors and Omissions insurance to protect them professionally.

Buying insurance is often complicated and confusing, especially when you’re buying your first policy. It’s no uncommon for civil engineers to make mistakes when looking for Errors and Omissions insurance, leaving them open to potential liability risks.

Let’s take a closer look at what Errors and Omissions insurance is and the common mistakes that civil engineers make when choosing a policy.

What is E&O insurance?

An Errors and Omissions insurance policy (also known as E&O or Professional Liability insurance) is an essential policy that protects you and your company in case of a lawsuit due to alleged professional wrongdoing.

E&O insurance can help cover civil engineers from many types of liability claims, including:

  • Errors
  • Mistakes
  • Omissions
  • Missed deadlines
  • Undelivered services
  • Negligence
  • Breach of contract

Civil engineering Errors and Omissions insurance pays the legal fees associated with a liability claim. This includes attorney’s fees, court costs, and settlements and judgements.

What E&O insurance mistakes do civil engineers make?

E&O insurance can be an important form of protection for civil engineers, safeguarding their professional reputation and finances. However, buying the first policy you find may not provide adequate coverage for you or your business.

Here are common mistakes that civil engineers make when selecting E&O insurance:

1. Not having enough coverage

Every engineer and engineering firm is unique. This is why there is no “one size fits all” policy, even for engineers working in the same industry.

The E&O insurance policy you choose should cover all your work activities. Your work as a civil engineer is different from an electrical engineer or a chemical engineer. Choosing a policy that provides coverage for the work you do can help protect you from the risks you face on the job.

You should also consider other aspects of your job, such as the number of clients you have or size of contracts you take, to ensure you are properly covered. Regularly reviewing your E&O insurance policy as your business grows is also important. You may need additional coverage as you take on bigger contracts.

2. Not meeting legal or professional obligations

Civil engineers may be required by law to have E&O insurance. This may be a necessary step to become licensed in your state. Similarly, professional associations may require members to maintain minimum levels of coverage to keep their license.

Neglecting to meet any insurance obligations may result in legal trouble for you and your business. It also signals to clients that your professional reputation may not be important to you, and that you may not meet their expectations or the standards of civil engineers in other ways, too.

3. Not having appropriate coverage for sub-contractors

If you’ve grown your civil engineering business to the point where you need to hire sub-contractors, you may need to review your E&O insurance coverage. Sub-contractors may not be considered employees under your policy, and therefore are unlikely to be covered. At the same time, the sub-contractor’s policy may not fully cover them for work they do for you.

As your business grows and changes, your civil engineering Errors and Omissions insurance may need to be updated. Hiring sub-contractors is one reason why you may need to review your policy. Properly vetting sub-contractors by asking the details of their E&O insurance might also be necessary.

4. Not following a risk management plan

While E&O insurance can help safeguard your civil engineering business, you probably still don’t want to make a claim. Thinking of your policy as a “last line of defense” could help you avoid unnecessary claims (and possibly premium increases at renewal time).

Civil engineers can take steps to help manage common risks. This might include a review process to catch mistakes before work begins and keeping written notes during discussions with clients.

Finding Civil Engineering E&O Insurance

Now that you understand some of the common E&O insurance mistakes that civil engineers make, you may be more confident in finding the right policy for your business. BizInsure makes the process of buying business insurance even faster and easier for small business owners like you.

We’ve simplified business insurance, removing the complicated paperwork and bringing greater pricing transparency to small business owners. Civil engineers can find and compare E&O insurance quotes from top-tier insurers, then click to buy in minutes. You’ll even receive a proof of insurance instantly by email when you’re done!

Find civil engineering Errors and Omissions insurance to suit your needs today!

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