Information Alerts For Design and Construction Firms

Winter 2018 Ames & Gough Insurer Survey

Architects & Engineers 2018 Professional Liability Insurance Market Survey

The Ames & Gough survey examines how 17 leading insurers providing architects and engineers professional liability insurance view 2018 in terms of premium rates and capacity. The survey lists their key underwriting considerations for 2018 versus past years and compares insurers’ actual rate changes in 2017 with their expectations. It reports on insurers’ recent claims experience, and details emerging risks for design firms that are getting underwriters’ attention. The survey also identifies new coverages many insurers are considering for their professional liability policies. Click here for a complimentary copy of the Ames & Gough survey, PLI Market 2018: Insurers Maintain Growth, Profitability Against Headwind of Competition.

Mike Herlihy discusses P3 risks and opportunities for design firms

Mike Herlihy discusses P3 risks and opportunities for design firms

In a guest column for The Zweig Letter, Mike Herlihy, executive vice president and partner, Ames & Gough discusses opportunities and risks public-private partnerships (P3) represent for design firms. As a growing number of projects in the U.S. involve P3s, he explains how these projects are typically structured. He looks at the various roles for A/E firms in P3 projects, their relative risks and provides examples of issues for design firms involved in P3s around the world. He lists measures A/E firms can take to mitigate risks, noting that by understanding the risks of P3 projects design firms will likely be in a better position to take advantage of these potential opportunities. Click here to obtain a copy of the article entitled, “Public-private partnerships,” which appeared on Feb. 19. [Note: Article originally published Feb. 19, 2018 in The Zweig Letter (http://www.thezweigletter.com) the voice of reason for A/E/P and environmental consulting firms. For more information log on to http://www.zweigwhite.com.]

Extra Protection: Popular Coverage Extensions Enhance Value of A/E Professional Liability Insurance Policies

Winter 2018 Information Alert

In today’s competitive insurance marketplace, many insurance companies that provide architects and engineers’ professional liability insurance (PLI) are enhancing their standard policies with coverages to address a wider array of risks now confronting design professionals. These supplemental coverages are generally available without any additional premium. Being aware of them may help design firms choose the policy that best meets their needs and help ensure they take advantage of these features. This InfoAlert highlights several popular supplemental coverages available under certain PLI policies and shows how they might be used to protect a design firm from loss. 

For a complimentary copy of the full text of this Information Alert, email info@amesgough.com. Include your name, title, and company/affiliation. In the Subject line, please specify: Winter 2018 InfoAlert: Extra Protection: Popular A/E PLI Coverage Extensions.

Winter 2017 Ames & Gough Insurer Survey

Architects & Engineers 2017 Professional Liability Insurance Market Survey

The Ames & Gough survey examines how 19 leading insurers providing architects & engineers professional liability coverage see 2017 shaping up in terms of premium rates and capacity. The survey also explores their key underwriting considerations and biggest concerns about emerging issues. Additionally, we offer insights to help A/E firms assess their opportunities in the increasingly competitive insurance market, including the value of maintaining sound risk management, and perspectives on evaluating insurers. Click here for a complimentary copy of the Ames & Gough survey, PLI Market 2017: Insurers Strive for Equilibrium in Dynamic Market.

Winter 2014 Ames & Gough Insurer Survey

PLI Market 2015: Most Insuerers Seek Stable Rates Amid Competition

The Ames & Gough 2015 Architects & Engineers Professional Liability Market Survey examines key pricing and coverage trends, and offers perspectives that will help design firms manage their professional liability exposure, which continues to be among their most significant risks. Findings are based on responses from senior underwriting executives responsible for the architects and engineers professional liability insurance lines at 14 of the leading insurance companies providing this coverage.

For a complimentary copy of the full text of this report, email info@amesgough.com. Please include name, title, and company/affiliation.

Winter 2014 Ames & Gough Insurer Survey

2014 PLI Survey: Architects and Engineers PLI Market Remains Competitive Despite Insurers’ Push for Rate Hikes

For a complimentary copy of the full text of this Information Alert, email info@amesgough.com. Please include name, title, and company/affiliation.

Fall 2013 Ames & Gough Information Alert

Finding the Hidden Risks in Today's Design Contracts

Most design and construction professionals can recite the “major” pitfalls to watch out for in negotiating a contract with a client. Indeed, standard of care and indemnification always come to mind. However, owners and other clients (and their lawyers) are using constantly evolving language, often avoiding hot button words and phrases to get to the same or very close to the same end results – higher standards of care, overly broad risk transfer, etc. This Information Alert looks closely at some of the more subtle language being inserted in design and construction contracts that can leave design and construction professionals with significant uninsured exposures. We review examples and discuss ways to remove or modify certain language and conditions that may result in elevated costs and exposures for design and construction professionals.

For a complimentary copy of the full text of this Information Alert, email info@amesgough.com. Include your name, title, and company/affiliation. In the Subject line, please specify: Fall 2013 Info Alert: FInding the HIdden Risks in Today's Design Contracts.

Summer 2013 Ames & Gough Information Alert

Emerging Risk Trends in Public Construction

The collapse of the I-5 bridge near Seattle this year serves as a reminder of the fragile state of the nation's infrastructure, which may raise new issues for any design and construction firms linked to public construction completed decades ago. Notable, with state and local governments lacking funds to compensate victims of catastrophic events, such as infrastructure failures, some have rolled back legal protections for design firms that have stood for decades to hold them responsible for related losses and injuries. This Information Alert examines the country's key infrastructure challenges, their implications for design and construction professionals, and provides steps to assess and manage related exposures.

For a complimentary copy of this Information Alert, email info@amesgough.com. Include your name, title, and company/affiliation. In the Subject line, please specify: Summer 2013 Info Alert: Emerging Risk Trends in Public Construction.

Winter 2013 Ames & Gough Insurer Survey

PLI Market 2013: Insurers Adjust Rates, But Maintain Capacity

For a complimentary copy of the full text of this Survey, email info@amesgough.com. Include your name, title, and company/affiliation. In the Subject line, please specify: PLI Market 2013: Insurers Adjust Rates, But Maintain Capacity.

Fall 2012 Information Alert

Large Losses Loom in Some PL Claims against Design Firms

Large Losses Loom in Some PL Claims against Design Firms (pdf titled Information Alert-Large Loss 9-2012)

For a complimentary copy of the full text of this Information Alert, email info@amesgough.com. Include your name, title, and company/affiliation. In the Subject line, please specify: Fall 2012 Information Alert.

Summer 2012 Information Alert

Managing Employee Benefits Risk: A Three-Legged Stool of Protection

Managing Employee Benefits Risk: A Three-Legged Stool of Protection (pdf titled Information Alert-Managing Employee Benefits 8-2012)

For a complimentary copy of the full text of this Information Alert, email info@amesgough.com. Include your name, title, and company/affiliation. In the Subject line, please specify: Managing Employee Benefits Risk: A Three-Legged Stool of Protection Summer 2012.

Summer 2012 Information Alert

Mergers and Acquisitions-Insurance and Risk Issues

Mergers and Acquisitions-Insurance and Risk Issues (pdf titled Mergers Acquisitions June 2012)

For a complimentary copy of the full text of this Information Alerts, email info@amesgough.com. Include your name, title, and company/affiliation. In the Subject line, please specify: Mergers and Acquisitions-Insurance and Risk Issues Summer 2012.

Spring 2012 Information Alert

Cyber-Risk, an Expanding Threat to Design Firms

Cyber-Risk, an Expanding Threat to Design Firms (pdf titled Information Alert Cyber-Risk April 2012)

For a complimentary copy of the full text of this Information Alert, email info@amesgough.com. Include your name, title, and company/affiliation. In the Subject line, please specify: Cyber-Risk, an Expanding Threat to Design Firms.

2012 Insurance Market Survey

PLI Market 2012: Continued Smooth Sailing

PLI Market 2012: Continued Smooth Sailing - Capacity Stables as Rates Being to Firm (pdf titled A&G Insurers Survey 3.2.12)

For a complimentary copy of the full text of this Information Alert, email info@amesgough.com. Include your name, title, and company/affiliation. In the Subject line, please specify: 2012 Insurance Market Survey

October 2011 Information Alert

Establishing a Corporate Policy for Sub-Consultant and Subcontractor Insurance

For a complimentary copy of the full text of this Information Alert, email info@amesgough.com. Include your name, title, and company/affiliation. In the Subject line, please specify: October 2011 InfoAlert – Establishing Corporate Policy.

August 2011 Information Alert

Crime Doesn't Pay...But Crime Insurance Does (Associations & Not-for-Profits)

For a complimentary copy of the full text of this Information Alert, email info@amesgough.com. Include your name, title, and company/affiliation. In the Subject line, please specify: August 2011 InfoAlert – Crime Doesn't Pay...But Crime Insurance Does.

July 2011 Information Alert

Why Worry So Much About Indemnification Clauses?

For a complimentary copy of the full text of this Information Alert, email info@amesgough.com. Include your name, title, and company/affiliation. In the Subject line, please specify: July 2011 InfoAlert – Indemnification Clauses.

June 2011 Information Alert

Crime Doesn't Pay...But Crime Insurance Does (Architects, Engineers & Construction Professionals)

For a complimentary copy of the full text of this Information Alert, email info@amesgough.com. Include your name, title, and company/affiliation. In the Subject line, please specify: June 2011 InfoAlert – Crime Doesn't Pay...But Crime Insurance Does.

May 2011 Information Alert

Certification Agreements: Managing the Risks of Going the Extra Mile for a Client

In the current business environment, design professionals often are asked or required to issue certifications as an extension of their services for a client. However, for various reasons, including the need to generate business and time pressures imposed by owners or lenders, design firms often sign certification agreements without reviewing them carefully. As a result, they may leave themselves with large and often uninsured liability exposures.

This InfoAlert examines potential exposures for design professionals associated with certification and outlines strategies for minimizing these risks.

For a complimentary copy of the full text of this Information Alert, email info@amesgough.com. Include your name, title, and company/affiliation. In the Subject line, please specify: May 2011 InfoAlert – Certification Agreements.

March 2011 Information Alerts

Certificates of Insurance: Evidencint Coverage While Avoiding Issues (Consultants & Professional Organizations)

For a complimentary copy of this report, email info@amesgough.com. Include your name, title, and company/affiliation. In the Subject line, please specify: Ames & Gough 2011 Architects & Engineers PLI Market Survey.

February 2011 Information Alert

Ames & Gough 2011 Architects & Engineers Professional Liability Insurance Market Survey

PLI Market 2011: Smooth Sailing, But Watch for Shoals Ahead

In January, Ames & Gough conducted a survey of senior underwriting executives responsible for the architects & engineers professional liability insurance lines at 10 of the leading insurance companies providing this coverage.

The survey examines how the insurers see 2011 shaping up in terms of premium rates and capacity, and provides insights on what the insurers see as key professional liability insurance underwriting considerations. We also looked back at insurer rate changes in 2010. Finally, we asked insurers to identify what they consider the key differentiators that enable them to retain clients and win new business.

The good news for architects and engineers, with all the other business issues they are facing in 2011, is that professional liability insurance is still readily available and rates are quite stable. While claims experience is going up some, competition among insurers has held premium rates pretty flat, despite the insurers' desire to raise rates.

For a complimentary copy of this report, email info@amesgough.com. Include your name, title, and company/affiliation. In the Subject line, please specify: Ames & Gough 2011 Architects & Engineers PLI Market Survey.

February 2011 Information Alert

Certificates of Insurance: Evidencing Coverage While Avoiding Issues

Certificates of insurance are a common component of everyday business for architects, engineers, and other construction professionals. The requirement to provide a certificate of insurance is standard in almost every contract for design or construction services.

This InfoAlert reviews the basics of certificates of insurance, as well as issues that may arise. We describe recent changes in the standard ACORD certificate of insurance format that will require changes in handling contract provisions and certificate of insurance requests. We also discuss options available and steps to satisfy your clients' requirements and requests.

For a complimentary copy of the full text of this Information Alert, email info@amesgough.com. Include your name, title, and company/affiliation. In the Subject line, please specify: February 2011 InfoAlert: Certificates of Insurance.

Winter 2011 Information Alert

Understanding the Risks of Going Green

As design professionals participate in the expanding number of projects with green construction and sustainability requirements, they need to sharpen their understanding of the unique risks associated with these opportunities and be proactive in their mitigation and management. This Information Alert provides an overview of the green building landscape and examines emerging risks through some of the more significant recent litigation related to these projects. We also review several instructive claims examples and some key insurance considerations associated with green design and construction.

For a complimentary copy of the full text of this Information Alert, email info@amesgough.com. Include your name, title, and company/affiliation. In the Subject line, please specify: Winter 2011 Information Alert.

Winter 2011 Information Alert

Risk Brief

New California Law Clarifies "Duty to Defend" in Public Sector Contracts

In our Summer 2010 Ames & Gough Information Alert, we described important risk management steps to consider, in light of two recent court rulings in California interpreting the duty to defend obligation as it applies to design professional agreements. In that Information Alert, we pointed out the risks associated with agreeing to a defense obligation in indemnity agreements with clients.

As a result of efforts by ACEC and AIA, California recently enacted legislation clarifying how the duty to defend obligation will apply in contracts with public agencies. The new California law (SB 972) went into effect on January 1, 2011, and is intended to relieve design professionals of the obligation to provide a defense to a public agency against a third-party lawsuit unless or until there is a finding of negligence, recklessness, or willful misconduct against the design professional.

This issue of Risk Brief will provide you with additional information on this new law and provide guidance about how design professionals should respond going forward. Also in this issue is information on New Workers' Compensation Codes for Design Professionals and how these will affect your firm's insurance program going forward.

For a complimentary copy of the full text of this Risk Brief, email info@amesgough.com. Include your name, title, and company/affiliation. In the Subject line, please specify: Risk Brief: New California Law.

  • Effective risk management is an integral part of our company's productivity goals. Ames & Gough provides the support we need to help us understand and implement good risk management practices. Their professional seminars and outstanding support have helped us to keep our insurance costs down as well as to maintain high standards. We value our relationship with them, are happy that they are part of our team, and thank them for their contributions to our success.

    Mark Teden, Executive Vice President/Treasurer, Bruner/Cott & Associates, Inc.
  • I've worked with Ames & Gough for years regarding our firm's professional liability insurance. Ames & Gough has some of the most knowledgeable insurance professionals that I have met. They understand our business and apply their very deep insurance knowledge to help us. They are customer-focused and always put our firm's needs ahead of their own. Ames & Gough is out to save us money while also looking out for our best interests.

    Donald P. Nims, Jr., PE, Quality Assurance & Risk Manager, Bergmann Associates, Inc.
  • Ames & Gough's expertise in insurance and risk issues has been invaluable to LeClairRyan. Our law firm's needs have been consistently met with their top of the line client service. Ames & Gough has been quick to identify gaps in coverage while reducing our insurance costs and saving us money. We highly recommend Ames & Gough to any law firm looking for senior-level professionals that can help contribute to your firm’s success.

    Bruce Matson, Chief Legal Officer, LeClairRyan
  • The expertise of the individuals at Ames & Gough has been invaluable to Hoyle Tanner. Over the course of many years, they have consistently provided Hoyle Tanner with knowledgeable advice and excellent service.

    James D. Boothroyd, P.E. , President, Hoyle, Tanner & Associates, Inc.
  • For years, Hogan Lovells has relied upon Ames & Gough’s deep understanding of the professional liability issues faced by law firms. Our firm’s needs are consistently met by responsive, friendly senior-level professionals with an unyielding focus on client service and putting our needs at the fore.

    Warren Gorrell, Jr., Former Co-Chairman, Hogan Lovells
  • We rely on Ames & Gough as our portal to the commercial insurance market for law firms. Their knowledge and service are exemplary, and we thank them for their contributions to our success.

    Phil Sunshine, General Counsel, Finnegan
  • Ames & Gough has gone above and beyond in delivering on all their promises and commitments to AGC of America and its Chapters. Their responsiveness and insurance acumen have set them apart from other brokers we've worked with.

    Monique T. Valentine, CPA, CFO, , Associated General Contractors of America
  • Everyone at Ames & Gough has tremendous depths of knowledge about both design professionals and managing risk in the construction process. We refer firms to Ames & Gough because their professionalism is obvious from the first conversation. Their client focus, nationwide reach, and high level of services makes Ames & Gough an outstanding broker for any design professional. We've given Ames & Gough our 'Elite Broker' designation signifying that they are truly dedicated experts.

    Duane S. Repko, Vice President and Underwriting Manager-AE National Accounts Division, Victor O. Schinnerer & Company
  • Ames & Gough has always been very responsive to our queries, large or small, for contract review and situations regarding potential liability. They have provided immediate answers to quick questions, offering clear advice and direction, and have responded promptly on the more comprehensive requests.

    Suzette Bois , Controller , SMRT, Inc.
  • Ames & Gough's expertise in insurance and risk issues important to our association has been obvious. They have been quick to identify issues and opportunities and follow-through to improve our coverage and save us money. We highly recommend Ames & Gough to any association seeking a professional insurance broker partner.

    David Fitzsimmons, VP of Finance & Accounting, National Association of Chain Drug Stores
  • Ames & Gough has proven, in a short time, to be a responsive, knowledgeable partner for AIR. Everyone on the team is quick to get back to us whenever we have a question. Importantly, they are also well-versed in the issues and possible solutions that confront our organization and have always been able to solve or prevent a problem. Better yet, they've saved us money and improved the coverage under our various insurance policies.

    Larry Trapuzzano, Director of Facilities & Administration, American Institutes for Research
  • We have a lot of vendors, but Ames & Gough is not a vendor, they are our partners!

    Kevin Kokal, Founder & Owner, Alliance Engineering, Inc.
  • I believe we were Ames & Gough's first client. In those 25 years, they have never failed to provide us with exceptional service, well beyond being only our A/E broker. Their depth of service, their technical expertise, and their responsiveness to our requests set them apart and account for our long-term relationship.

    Jim Fagan, Chairman of the Board, Hazen and Sawyer
  • Ames & Gough has worked closely, proactively, and successfully with our law firm. They have been very effective at obtaining the best insurance coverage for the best price. Additionally, the personnel have been extremely responsive on all our risk management issues. They are very knowledgeable and we are glad they are an integral part of our team.

    Steve Leonard, Chief Operating Officer, Zuckerman Spaeder, LLP
  • Beazley has had a close trading relationship with Ames & Gough since their formation in the 1990s. We consider them to be one of the real pros in their market niches of architects, engineers, and law firms. We appreciate their professional representation of their clients; as well as their integrity and attention to detail.

    Jerry Sullivan, Head of Professionals, Beazley Group
  • During our more than five-year relationship with Ames & Gough, we have grown to depend heavily on their experience in the A/E industry. Their skill at identifying risk exposures, skill in reviewing our contracts, and personal approach to insurance brokerage have made Ames & Gough indispensable to our firm. As contract negotiations become more complicated and the risk of litigation greater, there is no price our firm can put on having Ames & Gough and a good lawyer on our team.

    Ms. Polly Brazelton, Senior Associate, Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates