Dealing with Substitutions to Your Design

Recent research into claims arising against architects has confirmed that many involve substitutions to the systems and designs provided by the architect or its consultants. Although many substitutions factor in claims involving building envelope failures, substitutions to what the architect or engineer included in its design and specifications may factor in claims elsewhere in the […]

Architects and Others Saved from Asbestos Claims

The Straight Line Newsletter — Issue #3 This is the third issue of The Straight Line, a newsletter that will appear occasionally throughout the year. Articles will cover a broad range of topics that will engage anyone with an interest in the profession, including Ontario architects insured by Pro-Demnity, other OAA members—whether in practice or […]

What Limits Should I Carry?

The Straight Line Newsletter — Issue #2 Welcome to the 14th issue of The Straight Line, now a quarterly. Why quarterly? Because things in general – liability insurance in particular – seem to be changing more rapidly than ever, even as many of us, stuck in our makeshift home offices, watch time slowly stroll by. […]

How Long Should I Keep My Project Records?

The Straight Line Newsletter — Issue #1 This is the inaugural issue of The Straight Line, a newsletter that will appear occasionally throughout the year. Articles will cover a broad range of topics that will engage Ontario architects—whether in practice or not—and others with an interest in the profession.  The Straight Line will provide a […]

You have insurance…But what about the Engineering Consultants?

SUMMARY: Pro-Demnity has recently seen a number of instances where the architect’s insurance has been called upon to pay damages for claims that were the responsibility of an engineer, because the engineer’s own insurance was insufficient. Architects must review the insurance of any engineering consultant they retain and establish required limits as a condition of […]

Engineer’s Standard Terms of Engagement

Many architects are used to seeing an attachment to an engineer’s fee proposal titled “Standard Terms of Engagement” or similar. Sometimes these are signed and returned by the architect…often they are unread and filed away. Either way, they can be likened to a time bomb, waiting to explode when problems arise. Commonly, the text includes […]

Indemnification Clauses

Many client drafted Client / Architect contracts include “indemnification” language that will expose the architect to obligations and liabilities that are beyond what are already the architect’s at law, and will therefore not be covered by professional liability insurance. The terms and conditions of the Pro-Demnity Policy (or any other insurer’s policy) determine whether coverage […]

Retaining Surveyors, Geotechnical and Hazardous Materials Specialists

A recently issued OAA Practice Tip PT.30 reminds architects that the OAA recommends against architects retaining any of these three specialists. Consistent with this advice, standard forms of Client / Architect Agreement provided by the OAA and RAIC require the Client to supply information provided by Surveyors, Geotechnical and Hazardous Materials specialists to the Architect […]
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Glass used in Balcony Guards

In the summer of 2011, there was considerable media attention focused on “falling glass” from breakage of the glass panels used as guards on several condominium buildings in Toronto. In each reported instance, it was tempered glass that broke, with fragments falling into neighbouring streets. One individual was reported injured by falling pieces. Sidewalks were […]

Why You Must Understand “Claims Made” Insurance…

“Claims Made” insurance and the implications of such policies can be misunderstood by architects and their engineering consultants. Failure to understand the features and consequences of a “Claims Made” insurance policy may lead to loss of insurance coverage. In any discussion of the features of professional liability insurance for architects and engineers, it will be […]
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