Forums

Our forums are intended to allow both structural engineers and non-structural engineers to discuss the matters which affect them, obtain help with any queries and act as a useful way in which to communicate.

For more information, please visit the I need help or frequently asked questions areas.

General Public forum for all website users to post comments or queries
Institution Forums > General > PI Insurance for non-chartered engineer View modes: 
User avatar
Member (MIStructE)
Member (MIStructE)
Tommy Y - 11/04/2010 00:00:00
   
RE: PI Insurance for non-chartered engineer
if you use internet to register a LTD company, only cost you btw £25-35 (accountant typically charge you £150). you can even change details as many times as you want using 'company house' website (accountant typically charge you £100)

User avatar
Graduate
Graduate
Simon - 18/04/2010 00:00:00
   
RE: PI Insurance for non-chartered engineer
semi-related issue. current client is refusing to settle his account.first time (and probably not the last time) this has happened to me.I have no intention of going the small claims route and he knows it. Stupidly he already has my designs.usual storey, need calcs tonight, cheques in the post. I need some leverage,would it be possible to somehow withdraw my PI on those projects until i receive payment. I doubt it as the judge would probably see it as a case of "you designed it so its your responsibility, money doesn't absolve you of your designer's responsibility". any views/suggestions ?

User avatar
Member (MIStructE)
Member (MIStructE)
Mr Alan Robinson - 19/04/2010 00:00:00
   
RE: PI Insurance for non-chartered engineer
Hi Simon Somehow, I don't think telling your client you are withdrawing your PI cover is much of a stick. To me, this is a contractual issue and is subject to the terms and conditions in any fee letter you wrote or instruction you received. Your insurance company will be the best people to ask, but to me, if you have made a cock up you will be glad of the insurance cover. However on a more positive note, what I have done in the past is write to a client and instruct them not to proceed with any construction works until they have received a copy of the design risk assessment from me. Tell them that you will inform the local HSE office of your instruction. Then don't give them the risk assessment until they have settled the bill. You will probably have to keep an eye on the site to make sure they don't start work, but if they do start work, you simply have to phone the HSE and let them know that work is being undertaken that is not compliant with the CDM regs. It is my opinion that the HSE will be duty bound to then stop the work otherwise you may be liable. And I don't think the HSE will criticize you as you have instructed the client not to start work. When I instructed my client to stop work, they actually wrote to the IStructE for clarification on the matter (probably with a view to making a complaint if they found my instruction to be invalid). But I didn't hear any more from the IStructE, so assume the client was politely advised to get a risk assessment. The issue didn't get as far as informing the HSE, as the reply from the IStructE appeared to do the trick.

User avatar
Member (MIStructE)
Member (MIStructE)
Mr John Irwin - 19/04/2010 00:00:00
   
RE: PI Insurance for non-chartered engineer
Simon Making threats like withdrawing PI insurance even if it could be done, in my view, just does nothing except antaganise the client who has retained you and will get you a reputation of being difficult to do business with among other Building Professionals as well as clients. Asking for cash on delivery as you imply you should have done also is difficult unless you insist on it with every client. Perhaps a policy of insisting on it for a particular type of work or for fees below a certain amount will work. However, if you insist on COD with Mr Flash Developer and then not insist on it with Mr and Mrs Pillar Ofthecommunity you will certainly not be popular with anybody and might even get reported to the Office of Fair Trading. JI

User avatar
Graduate
Graduate
MW - 20/04/2010 00:00:00
   
RE: PI Insurance for non-chartered engineer
Surprisingly, I have found some architects advising their clients not to pay our fees on time. I suppose this is because if there is a problem at construction stage due to unforseen circumstances we should be called up and do the work for free or if we charge extra there should be a dispute (another reason not to pay). The moral of the story is architect should be trained to tell their clients of possible contingencies.

User avatar
Associate-Member (AMIStructE)
Associate-Member (AMIStructE)
Mike M - 20/04/2010 00:00:00
   
RE: PI Insurance for non-chartered engineer
Am afraid reporting to the HSE might also not hold much stick if the client is classed as a 'domestic client' ie someone working on their own property. If it's a commercial client, under CDM regs the work would only be notifiable to the HSE if it lasts longer than 30 working days or will involve more than 500 man days of work.

User avatar
Member (MIStructE)
Member (MIStructE)
Mr Alan Robinson - 20/04/2010 00:00:00
   
RE: PI Insurance for non-chartered engineer
Mike I have found its a common misconception that CDM doesn't apply if the work is for a 'domestic client'. Both designers and contractors still have oblogations even if working for a 'domestic client'. The text below has been cut and copied from the CDM ACOP. "31 Domestic clients have no client duties under CDM2007, which means that there is no legal requirement for appointment of a CDM co-ordinator or principal contractor when such projects reach the notification threshold. Similarly, there is no need to notify HSE where projects for domestic clients reach the notification threshold. However, designers and contractors still have their normal duties as set out in Parts 2 and 4 of the Regulations, and domestic clients will have duties under Part 4 of the Regulations if they control the way in which construction work is carried out (see paragraph 9). 32 Designers and contractors working for domestic clients have to manage their own work and co-operate with and co-ordinate their work with others involved with the project so as to safeguard the health and safety of all involved in the project. The requirements in Schedules 2 and regulations 25-44 and other health and safety law still apply". So the designer and contractor are still obliged to perform risk assessments and pass these over to people who may affected by the risk. And it is my opinion that the HSE will be duty bound to support any designer in their efforts to maintain Health and Safety. So if a designer instructs a client to not proceed with any construction works, the HSE must agreed with the designer. It is illegal to proceed with works without a risk assessment. It is not illegal to delay providing a risk assessment. The length of the delay is dependant upon settlement of the invoice. The same logic applies if the client is a 'commercial client'

User avatar
Member (MIStructE)
Member (MIStructE)
Mr John Irwin - 21/04/2010 00:00:00
   
RE: PI Insurance for non-chartered engineer
MW You say: "Surprisingly, I have found some architects advising their clients not to pay our fees on time..... The moral of the story is architect should be trained to tell their clients of possible contingencies." Many would come to a different conclusion and that is that the moral of the story is to have a robust word with the architect and if he or she does not apologise, never work with that firm again. I have had ocassions when an architect from outside my area has rang me up out of the blue. However, after feeling quite pleased that they have come to me rather than the engineer local to them and then accepting a few small projects, I quickly realise why they are coming to me. The reason is that few engineers will work with them, because of problems similar to the one you mention. When an architect realises that he cannot get an engineer to work with him/her easily, that is sometimes the only time they start to get "trained". JI

User avatar
Guest
JB - 10/05/2010 00:00:00
   
RE: PI Insurance for non-chartered engineer
BEWARE! Several people have suggested Caunce O'Hara on this thread. I have been insured with them for the past year as a Design Engineer. They have just phoned to say that they dont insure Structural Engineers and I have effectively not been covered. The name of my company includes the words "Structural Engineering" and this is on the policy!!! Be very careful!!

User avatar
Graduate
Graduate
Simon Cadagan - 11/02/2012 11:55:39
   
RE: PI Insurance for non-chartered engineer
Ah, its that "PI" time of year again. It would appear that even fewer providers are prepared to insure structural engineers and the majority will not provide online quotes.

i have just tried Hiscox which was a surprisingly painless website experience. does anyone have any experience with them? the actual details of what is and isnt covered are very sketchy so i am intending to ring them direct. 

1 2 3 4 5 6


It is important that before using any of the Institution forums, that you have read and understood our terms and conditions of use.



All of the pages on this website are the copyright © of The Institution of Structural Engineers.

The Institution of Structural Engineers, 11 Upper Belgrave Street, London, SW1X 8BH, United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0)20 7235 4535 Fax: +44 (0)20 7235 4294
Registered with the Charity Commission for England and Wales No. 233392 and in Scotland No. SC038263
Follow us on: Twitter Facebook LinkedIn Youtube The Structural Engineer Jobs