Franklands offers Insurance for Surveyors

Surveyors professional indemnity: 5 important considerations

Surveying is one of the oldest and most traditional professions. Its health is very much tied to the economy, both for general practice in terms of property sales and valuations and also in construction with increased, or decreased activity for construction professionals such as Quantity Surveyors, Project Managers etc.

As a result the underwriting performance for insurers has often been poor and the profession has consistently faced difficulties with obtaining affordable Professional Indemnity Insurance.

To make sure your surveying firm is ready to submit a new application, or renew an existing policy, here are 5 things your policy should include…

1 - Retroactive dates

Has your existing policy got a retroactive date? Ideally you don’t want one as in the absence of one you are fully covered for all work undertaken since you commenced in business as a surveyor.

If your policy does have a retroactive date you need to be sure it is correct as you will only be covered for claims made against you for work undertaken after this date. RICS require that all policies provide fully retroactive cover.

2 – Run off

If and when you cease trading you will need to put your policy into run off. This means that your policy no longer covers any ongoing work (as the business has closed), but covers claims that may be made against you from work undertaken in the past.

As the policy is on a claims made wording, it is extremely important that you have a policy in force to deal with a claim that may be made against you, even after you have ceased trading.

3 – Terms of engagement

Terms of engagement are vital to set out clearly what you are going to do, what you are not going to do and what your responsibilities are. Usually the terms should include the scope of the work, the fee and liability caps in place.

If it is possible to agree a cap on your liability with your clients we recommend that these are implemented generally, as either a fixed financial amount, or a multiple of the fee for the work.

4 – Presenting your firm to insurers

Insurance company underwriters are very busy people and can quickly be turned off by a poor presentation. Insurers will decide on the acceptability of a risk and the terms to be applied based on a number of factors including type of work, fee income, claims experience etc.

It is important that your presentation is clear and accurate, historical claims are listed, and you allow time for your broker to negotiate terms.

5 – Types of work

Insurers arrive at the premium and terms based on a number of factors, notably overall fee income, split of work and claims experience. They also factor in other things such as geographical location, risk management etc.

Talk to experts

To ensure that you are properly covered, choose an independent, specialist and experienced broker to work with, who can source the most suitable policy for you.

Here at Franklands, we provide sound technical advice, expert claims handling and attentive personal service delivered by qualified staff. If you would like to speak to us about your professional indemnity policy, please call 0330 159 8008 or email us at

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