News

Monday, November 2, 2020

Rob Hughes provides insights on insurer security ratings as design firms assess the strength of their protection in evolving economy

In an opinion column for The Zweig Letter, Rob Hughes, senior vice president and partner, Ames & Gough looks at how security ratings agencies evaluate the financial condition of insurance companies. As insurers navigate the challenges associated with a difficult economy and record numbers of natural catastrophes, he emphasizes the need for design firms to understand how these circumstances might affect the claims-paying ability of their insurers. In addition to discussing how agencies develop and assign various ratings, he explains what they mean and their implications for insureds. This includes the need to make sure any change in an insurer’s rating continues to meet a client’s related contractual requirements. He also lists steps for A/E firms if an insurer’s ratings fail below the minimum threshold, including contractual language that stipulates the timeframe for the design firm to replace its insurer. Click here to read the column, entitled “How well is your firm protected?” which appeared on November 2. [Note: Article originally published Nov. 2, 2020 in The Zweig Letter (https://www.thezweigletter.com), the voice of reason for A/E/P and environmental consulting firms. For more information log on to https://zweiggroup.com.]

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Officer Promotions at Ames & Gough

Ames & Gough is pleased to announce four officer promotions. Allison Buytenhuys, partner, named senior vice president; Brian Lynch, Cady Sinks and Rachelle Tucker become assistant vice presidents. Join us in congratulating them. To read the news release click here.

Monday, August 10, 2020

Rob Hughes shares best practices for design firms to manage receivables and collections during COVID-19 pandemic

In an opinion column for The Zweig Letter, Rob Hughes, senior vice president and partner, Ames & Gough acknowledges that design firm clients may be encountering financial difficulties during the COVID-19 pandemic. In this environment, he advises AEC firms to closely monitor their receivables and diligently manage any collections. In addition to sharing best practices for design firms to manage receivables and handle collections, he notes that collection efforts may prompt clients to allege the design firm’s work was deficient, leading to errors and omissions claims. He also discusses how  professional liability insurance can help design firms respond to these situations. Click here to read the column, entitled “Managing receivables and collections now,” which appeared on August 10. [Note: Article originally published August 10, 2020 in The Zweig Letter (https://www.thezweigletter.com), the voice of reason for A/E/P and environmental consulting firms. For more information log on to https://zweiggroup.com.]

Monday, June 15, 2020

Dan Knise discusses subconsultant risks for engineers

In a “Legal Perspectives” column for STRUCTURE magazine, Dan Knise, chair and CEO, Ames & Gough describes potential exposures for engineers from their relationships with subconsultants and subcontractors. He then explains how engineers can mitigate these risks by establishing a diligent process for selecting subs, practicing sound contractual hygiene and requiring subs to obtain certain insurance coverages. He also shares some basic standards for coverage limits. Click here to read the full article, “Managing the Risks of Subconsultant Relationships,” published in the June issue of STRUCTURE magazine. [Reprinted with permission, STRUCTURE, June 2020.] 

Monday, May 25, 2020

Rob Hughes discusses cyber risks and related insurance coverage options for design firms

In an opinion column for The Zweig Letter, Rob Hughes, senior vice president and partner, Ames & Gough discusses emerging cyber risks for design firms, including the growing number of ransomware and cyber-extortion attacks experienced by businesses in all sectors, and examines related coverage available under various insurance policies. In addition to describing potential coverage provided by A/E/C firm business owner's policies (BOP) and property insurance, he explains the various insuring agreements or coverage modules available under stand-alone cyber risk insurance. Click here to read the column, entitled “Focus on cyber risk insurance,” which appeared on May 25. [Note: Article originally published May 25, 2020 in The Zweig Letter (https://www.thezweigletter.com), the voice of reason for A/E/P and environmental consulting firms. For more information log on to https://zweiggroup.com.]

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Ames & Gough 2020 LPLI Claims Survey

Ames & Gough is pleased to share we have released our annual 2020 LPLI Claims Survey. See the attached news release for more details. If you would like to learn more about our survey, email us now.

Monday, April 27, 2020

Joan DeLorey and Jared Maxwell share insights on A/E professional liability insurance market conditions from Ames & Gough 2020 PLI Insurer Survey

In an opinion column for The Zweig Letter, Joan DeLorey, senior vice president and partner, Ames & Gough and Jared Maxwell, vice president and partner discuss 10 key takeaways from the firm’s 2020 A/E professional liability insurer survey. Even though the survey was conducted prior to the impact of COVID-19 on the U.S. economy, several findings may be instructive for design firms as they navigate through current business realities and plan their business activity, insurance arrangements and risk management as different states permit the resumption or expansion of commercial activities, including construction. Click here to read the column, entitled “Update on professional liability insurance,” which appeared on April 27. [Note: Article originally published April 27, 2020 in The Zweig Letter (https://www.thezweigletter.com), the voice of reason for A/E/P and environmental consulting firms. For more information log on to https://zweiggroup.com.]

Monday, April 20, 2020

Rob Hughes flags key contractual risks for structural engineers

In a “Legal Perspectives” column for STRUCTURE magazine, Rob Hughes, senior vice president and partner, Ames & Gough identifies and discusses 10 key contractual risks for structural engineers, including efforts by owners to transfer risk to engineers through onerous indemnification agreements, standard of care language, and other contractual wording and assigned responsibilities. Besides pointing out their potential implications for structural engineers – including the lack of related coverage under their professional liability insurance policies – he provides specific approaches for engineering firms to address each of the contractual issues. Click here to read the full article, “Warning Flags for Structural Engineers,” published in the April issue of STRUCTURE magazine. 

Monday, March 2, 2020

Eileen Garczynski discusses steps for law firms to manage “scope creep” and avoid related legal malpractice claims

In an “Expert Analysis” article for Law360, Eileen Garczynski, senior vice president and partner, Ames & Gough describes circumstances for law firms that can lead to “scope creep,” such as changes over time in the direction or services needed by a client with respect to a particular matter. She discusses strategies for law firms to flag and manage scope creep, which otherwise can lead to unexpected outcomes, errors and omissions, client dissatisfaction, wasted time and money, and possibly a legal malpractice claim. According to Garczynski, managing scope creep starts with a clear engagement agreement and involves: continual monitoring of work performed throughout the engagement; active communication with clients; the establishment of a paper trail; and oversight by the firm, among other risk management measures. Click here to read the full article, “Atty Tips To Avoid 'Scope Creep' And Malpractice Claims,” published in Law360, March 2, 2020.

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

2020 AE PL Insurance Market Survey

Ames & Gough has finished its 2020 AE PL Insurance Market Survey. As they look ahead to 2020, all insurers in the Ames & Gough survey of 15 leading insurance companies (which, on a combined basis, represent a significant percentage of the overall marketplace providing professional liability insurance to architects and engineers in the U.S.), are planning rate increases. Among them, 82 percent are seeking modest increases of up to 5 percent, while the remaining insurers are planning to raise rates by 6 - 10 percent. To learn more or obtain a copy please email info@amesgough.com. To read our press release click here.

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  • 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 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
  • 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 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
  • 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 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
  • 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
  • We have a lot of vendors, but Ames & Gough is not a vendor, they are our partners!

    Kevin Kokal, Founder & Owner, Alliance Engineering, Inc.
  • 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.
  • 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
  • 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.
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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