Civil Engineer Insurance Policy Information
Civil Engineer Insurance. Civil engineers have the exciting and rewarding job of designing, planning, and supervising the construction of a wide variety of construction projects - including, to name but a few examples, buildings, roads, bridges, parks, and harbors. A civil engineer will typically further specialize in, for instance, construction or structural engineering.
Civil engineers use higher mathematics, economics, biological, and physical sciences to design airports, bridges, buildings, harbors, highways, irrigation systems, manufacturing plants, pipelines, railroads, and tunnels.
They may specialize in construction, environmental, forensic, geotechnical, hydraulic, municipal, structural, transportation, or water resource fields. The engineer is hired by a client and may conduct research, prepare prototypes, or design specifications to meet the client's requirements.
They may test structural failures to identify problems and propose solutions.
A great many civil engineers will thrive as employees within the public or private sector, but some decide to take the plunge and start their own companies.
Owning and managing your own business within the civil engineering branch will allow you greater freedom in deciding what projects to work on, and it can be highly profitable as well.
Civil engineers who own their own business also, on the other hand, face a range of risks, each of which could prove to be financially devastating. What kinds of civil engineer insurance would be needed to protect themselves from the fallout of major perils? To find out more, keep reading.
Civil engineer insurance protects your engineering firms from lawsuits with rates as low as $37/mo. Get a fast quote and your certificate of insurance now.
Below are some answers to commonly asked civil engineering insurance questions:
- What Is Civil Engineering Insurance?
- How Much Does Civil Engineer Insurance Cost?
- Why Do Civil Engineers Need Insurance?
- What Type Of Insurance Do Civil Engineers Need?
- What Does Civil Engineer Insurance Cover & Pay For?
What Is Civil Engineering Insurance?
Civil engineering insurance is a type of insurance designed specifically for civil engineers and their companies. It covers various risks related to the design, construction, and maintenance of public and private infrastructure projects such as buildings, bridges, roads, and water treatment facilities.
This insurance typically provides protection against financial losses due to accidents, defects, and damage caused by unforeseen events during the construction process. It can also cover the cost of defending legal claims related to the project, such as personal injury or property damage.
Civil engineering insurance is an important investment for civil engineers as it provides peace of mind and protects against potential financial losses.
How Much Does Civil Engineer Insurance Cost?
The average price of a standard $1,000,000/$2,000,000 General Liability Insurance policy for small civil engineering firms ranges from $37 to $59 per month based on location, type of projects, revenue, claims history and more.
Why Do Civil Engineers Need Insurance?
Civil engineering firms face a variety of hazards, and even though you can reduce your risk by implementing various health, safety, and security measures, it is simply not possible to bring your risk down to zero.
Civil engineers could, at virtually any time, be impacted both by universal risks and industry-specific perils.
Your office space could, for instance, fall victim to burglary, cyber theft, or acts of vandalism, causing significant damage to, or loss of, commercial assets.
On an even larger scale, the threat of acts of nature, like earthquakes, hurricanes, lightning strikes, or other severe weather events also has to be considered.
civil engineers who employ others face the risk that a worker will become injured on the job, and if clients visit you in your office space, an injury on their part could lead to a costly lawsuit, too.
Another serious risk lies in the possibility that a client accuses you of being negligent in carrying out your job, which, especially if such as claim includes bodily injury or serious property damage, can cause costs so massive that they could easily be bankrupting in nature.
Only a solid civil engineer insurance plan, which provides coverage for all the major perils you face, can shield a civil engineer with a private business from the financial disaster these and other unforeseen circumstances would otherwise bring.
That is why it is vital to evaluate your insurance needs with great care.
What Type Of Insurance Do Civil Engineers Need?
Civil engineering is a broad and diverse profession. Your insurance needs will be influenced by the same factors that make your business unique - the exact nature of the work you do, the location where you are based, the size of your business, and how many employees you have.
A commercial insurance broker who understands your field should be consulted to make sure all eventualities are covered. Some of the most important kinds of civil engineer insurance include, however:
- Commercial Property - Your commercial building, your assets within it, and any equipment you have rented, could all be lost or suffer severe damage if your company is affected by an act of nature, theft, or vandalism. This form of insurance will cover a substantial portion of the resulting expenses.
- Commercial General Liability - Whether a visitor to your premises is injured, or your company's activities accidentally cause damage to property belonging to someone else, you can face costly litigation. General liability insurance covers your attorney fees, settlement costs, and other legal expenses.
- Errors And Omissions - This type of civil engineer insurance coverage will help you deal with the financial fallout of claims that you made errors in your job or performed your duties negligently, even if the claim is later found to be baseless. As these kinds of claims are not uncommon for civil engineers, this form of coverage - also called professional liability insurance - is essential.
- Workers' Compensation - You will generally require workers' compensation insurance if you have employees. These policies protect you and your employees in case of a work-related injury or occupational illness (resulting from exposure to harmful substances, for example). The injured employee's medical bills and any lost wages are taken care of, and in turn the risk of lawsuits is reduced.
Although these important types of civil engineer insurance will certainly make running an engineering firm less uncertain, you may also require additional forms of coverage - such as commercial auto, cyber, or environmental liability insurance.
Ask a seasoned commercial insurance agent for further details.
Civil Engineer's Risks & Exposures
Premises liability exposure is limited at the engineer's location. If customers visit the premises, they must be confined to designated areas that are free of obstacles with floor coverings in good condition. The number of exits must be sufficient and well marked, with backup lighting in case of power failure.
Parking lots and sidewalks need to be in good repair with snow and ice removed, generally level and free of exposure to slips and falls.
Off-site exposures consist of visits to customers' premises and job sites. There should be procedures in place for enforcement of rules regarding off-site conduct by employees.
Professional liability exposure is extensive due to the catastrophic potential for injury and death from an error in design that results in structural failures, such as the collapse of an interstate bridge or high-rise.
The exposure increases if the firm fails to conduct thorough background checks to verify employees' accreditations, education, and licensing, permit clerical workers to do tasks that only professionals should handle, or if error checking procedures are ignored or are inadequate.
All design specifications must be followed, and inspections regularly conducted. Documentation must be clear, with changes marked and authorizations signed by both the engineer and the customer.
Agreements with clients, including fee arrangements, should be in writing. Customers can suffer financial loss due to construction delays and cost overruns. Other exposures include allegations of breach of a client's confidentiality or a conflict of interest.
Workers compensation exposure is from office operations and off-site visits to customers' premises and job sites. Since work at the office is done on computers, potential injuries include eyestrain, neck strain, carpal tunnel syndrome, and similar repetitive motion injuries that can be reduced with ergonomically designed workstations.
Off-site exposures may include working at construction sites, at heights, on rough terrain, or in isolated areas. Engineers can be injured off-site by slips and falls, falling objects, falls from heights, electrical panels and wiring, construction machinery, flying debris, noise, foreign objects in the eye, assault, and automobile or aviation accidents. Protective equipment may be required.
Property exposure is primarily that of an office. Ignition sources include electrical wiring, heating and air conditioning systems, wear, and overheating of equipment. The storage of paper reference materials and customers' records may add to the fire load.
Storage should be in fireproof file cabinets, and fire suppression systems must not damage the papers. Computers and other electronic equipment may be targets for theft.
Inland marine exposure consists of accounts receivable if the firm offers credit, computers, and valuable papers and records for clients' information, proposals, prototypes, final specifications, and work in progress.
Computers generally have expensive hardware and software designed specifically for engineering applications. Power failure and power surges are potentially severe hazards. Computer systems must have adequate security features to prevent unauthorized access due to industrial espionage or by hackers. Duplicates must be made often and stored off-site.
Storage on premises should consist of fireproof cabinets. There may be an off-premises exposure if engineers take tools and equipment to customers' job sites.
Crime exposure is from employee dishonesty, which can be very high as engineers possess unique access to customers' proprietary information. Potential for theft, particularly industrial espionage, is great. Background checks should be conducted on all employees.
Monitoring procedures and securing of all records should be enforced to prevent unauthorized access to client information. There must be a separation of duties between persons handling deposits and disbursements and reconciling bank statements. Employee dishonesty issues may arise when an employee is on a client's premises.
Business auto exposure comes from the vehicles used to travel to visit customers and job sites. Generally, the vehicles are private passenger types or pickups. Engineers may use rental cars when proceedings are not local.
If vehicles are supplied to employees, there should be written guidelines regarding the personal and permitted use of the vehicle. All drivers must have appropriate licenses and acceptable MVRs. Vehicles must be maintained and records kept in a central location.
What Does Civil Engineer Insurance Cover & Pay For?
Civil engineers may be sued for various reasons, often related to negligence, errors, or omissions in their work. Some common reasons include:
Design flaws: If a design developed by a civil engineer contains errors that lead to structural issues, financial losses, or safety concerns, they can be sued for damages resulting from these flaws. Professional Liability Insurance, also known as Errors and Omissions (E&O) insurance, can help cover the costs of legal defense and any settlements or judgments arising from such lawsuits.
Construction defects: If a project built under the supervision of a civil engineer suffers from defects due to poor workmanship, incorrect materials, or inadequate supervision, the engineer may be held liable. Again, Professional Liability Insurance can provide coverage for the costs associated with defending the engineer and any financial settlements or judgments.
Breach of contract: If a civil engineer fails to deliver the agreed-upon services or does not meet contractual obligations, they may be sued for breach of contract. Professional Liability Insurance can help pay for legal defense and any damages awarded to the client as a result of the breach.
Project delays: If a project is significantly delayed due to the civil engineer's actions or inactions, they may be sued for any financial losses incurred by the client. Professional Liability Insurance can help cover the costs of legal defense and financial damages related to the delay.
Environmental damage: If a civil engineer's work leads to environmental damage, such as pollution or harm to protected species, they may be held liable. Environmental Liability Insurance, also known as Pollution Liability Insurance, can help cover the costs of cleanup, remediation, legal defense, and any settlements or judgments arising from such lawsuits.
Workplace accidents: If an accident occurs on a job site due to the negligence or oversight of a civil engineer, they may be sued for any injuries or damages resulting from the accident. General Liability Insurance can help cover the costs of legal defense, medical expenses for injured parties, and any settlements or judgments related to the accident.
In each of these cases, insurance can help protect civil engineers by covering the costs associated with legal defense, settlements, and judgments, which can be financially crippling without proper coverage. It is essential for civil engineers to have the appropriate insurance policies in place to safeguard their professional and financial well-being.
Commercial Insurance And Business Industry Classification
- SIC CODE: 8711 Engineering Services
- NAICS CODE: 541330 Engineering Services
- Suggested Workers Compensation Code(s): 8601 Architectural or Engineering Firm - Including Salespersons & Drivers
Description for 8711: Engineering Services
Division I: Services | Major Group 87: Engineering, Accounting, Research, Management, And Related Services | Industry Group 871: Engineering, Architectural, And Surveying
8711 Engineering Services: Establishments primarily engaged in providing professional engineering services. Establishments primarily providing and supervising their own engineering staff on temporary contract to other firms are included in this industry. Establishments providing engineering personnel, but not general supervision, are classified in Industry 7363. Establishments primarily engaged in providing architectural engineering services are classified in Industry 8712, and those providing photogrammetric engineering services are classified in Industry 8713.
- Designing ship, boat, and machine
- Engineering services: industrial, civil, electrical, mechanical
- Machine tool designers
- Marine engineering services
- Petroleum engineering services
Civil Engineer Insurance - The Bottom Line
To learn more about the exact types of civil engineer insurance policies you'll need, and how much coverage to get and the premiums, speak with a reputable business insurance broker.
Additional Resources For Professional Services Insurance
Get informed about small business professional services insurance, including Professional liability, aka errors and omissions (E&O insurance), that protects your business against claims that a professional service you provided caused your client financial loss.
- Answering Service
- Armored Car
- Attorney Lawyer
- Background Music Services
- Business Consulting
- Chemical Engineers
- Civil Engineers
- Claims Adjuster
- Commercial Laundries
- Commodity Broker
- Corporate Wellness
- Court Reporter
- Credit Bureaus
- Debt Collection Agency
- Detective Agency
- Diaper Services
- Electrical Engineering
- Environmental Consultant
- Executive, Career & Life Coaching
- Executive Search Firm
- Expert Witness
- Financial Planner
- Financial Services
- Funeral Directors
- HR Consultant
- Inspection Bureaus
- Insurance Agents & Brokers Insurance
- Mediator - Arbitrator
- Medical Billing
- Music, Drama & Dance Therapy
- Office Machine Repair & Maintenance
- Piano Tuners
- Project Management
- Safety Consultants
- Speakers Bureaus
- Tax Preparer
- Temporary Staffing
- Title Abstractors
- Valet Parking
- Specialty Consultants
- Specialty Service Business
The professional services industry, which includes occupations such as lawyers, doctors, accountants, and architects, often deals with sensitive and complex issues that carry a high risk of liability. These professionals are expected to provide their clients with expert advice and guidance, and any mistakes or oversights can result in significant financial consequences for both the client and the professional. This is where insurance comes into play.
Business insurance provides protection against the financial repercussions of potential mistakes or accidents that may occur while providing professional services. For example, a lawyer may make an error in their legal representation that leads to a financial loss for their client. Without insurance, the lawyer would be personally responsible for covering the cost of this loss. Insurance helps to protect professionals from these types of financial burdens and allows them to focus on providing high-quality services to their clients.
In addition to protecting against financial losses, commercial insurance can also provide legal defense for professionals facing legal action as a result of their work. This can be especially important for professionals in high-stress or high-risk fields, such as doctors or architects, who may be at a higher risk of being sued for professional negligence.
Overall, the professional services industry needs insurance to protect against financial losses and legal action, ensuring that professionals can continue to provide high-quality services to their clients without the added stress and burden of potential financial consequences.
Minimum recommended small business insurance coverage: Business Personal Property, Employee Dishonesty, Accounts Receivable, Computers, Valuable Papers and Records, General Liability, Employee Benefits Liability, Professional Liability, Umbrella Liability, Hired and Non-owned Auto Liability & Workers Compensation.
Other commercial insurance policies to consider: Building, Business Income with Extra Expense, Earthquake, Equipment Breakdown, Flood, Computer Fraud, Forgery, Money and Securities, Special Floater, Cyber Liability, Employment-related Practices Liability, Business Auto Liability and Physical Damage and Stop Gap Liability.