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Business Insurance for Civil Engineers and Engineering Firms

Insurance for Civil Engineers

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In your work as a civil engineer, you are responsible for planning and constructing roads, bridges, pipelines, canals, airports, and other structures. Though you may have a specialty such as mechanical, structural, or electrical engineering, the work that you do has the power to impact people from all walks of life whether they are aware of it or not. Therefore, you have an obligation to maintain a standard of work that guarantees their safety. Though you have experienced years of training and may have extensive experience, mistakes are a part of everyday life.

In the event of an accident, you may be held financially liable for any damages. Because of the complex nature of building design and engineering, just one small error can lead to disaster. Even if you’ve performed your job perfectly, a disgruntled individual may still decide to sue your company. Moreover, like all businesses, your company is exposed to a wide variety of liabilities stemming from daily operations. From a client visiting your office getting injured to a natural disaster damaging your office building, the risks are varied and can be financially devastating. In order to safeguard your firm from these risks, consider investing in business insurance.

You should consider purchasing business insurance for your civil engineering firm if:

What insurance coverage do I need as a civil engineer?

Civil engineers are most prone to lawsuits relating to their professional work, and as such, professional liability insurance is one of the most important coverages to obtain. Other insurance types are also important, including general liability insurance, to protect against third-party injury and property damage, as well as commercial property insurance if your firm owns or leases an office. While there are a number of policies to consider, below we list some of the most common business insurance coverages.

Professional Liability Insurance or Errors and Omissions (E&O) Insurance

As a civil engineer, your work can have a serious impact on the financial viability of a structure, as well as the safety of anyone who uses the structure. Given the complex nature of engineering work, even a small error or miscalculation can end up in financial disaster. Professional liability insurance, also known as errors & omissions insurance, can protect you financially from client lawsuits related to professional performance. Moreover, for engineers, professional liability insurance also covers property damage and bodily injury that results from your professional work or services. This is typically excluded in other professional liability policies.


General Liability Insurance

General liability insurance, also known as commercial general liability insurance, protects your engineering business financially from lawsuits and damages that arise while doing business. Because your employees will likely interact frequently with clients on worksites, general liability is an important coverage to have. It pays for bodily injury and property damage that is unintentionally caused by your business in the course of your business operations.


Workers’ Compensation Insurance

Workers’ compensation insurance, commonly known as workers’ comp, is a form of liability insurance that provides funds for employees who suffer work-related injuries or illnesses. Workers’ comp helps to cover medical expenses and lost wages associated with these injuries. With civil engineering and construction projects, where occupational injuries may occur more frequently, workers’ comp can be a critical component to preventing excessive financial burdens on your business.

Workers’ compensation can cover the costs of:


Commercial Property Insurance

Commercial property insurance is meant to protect the investment you’ve made in your business property, including office space, tools, equipment, inventory, and other property that you use to run your business. If a fire destroys your office building or your tools or equipment are stolen from your building—these are all cases where property insurance would cover you for the value of the property that is damaged or destroyed. Commonly covered perils include fire, lightning, explosion, windstorm, hail, theft, and vandalism.


Cyber Liability Insurance

Cyber liability insurance covers your business against liability and property losses caused by cyberattacks like hacks, data breaches, denial of service attacks, and viruses. Commercial general liability policies usually exclude coverage for cyber liability, so you may not have coverage for data breaches under your primary general liability policy. As a civil engineer, you deal with vital documents, so it is especially important to guard your business against the negative impact of any technological mishaps.

Cyber liability insurance also covers the costs of:


Business Owner’s Policy

A business owner’s policy, also known as a “BOP,” can cover risks that are common to small business owners. In this type of plan, general liability, business interruption, and property insurance are bundled together to address your needs as a small business owner. A BOP can also help you save money, with lower premiums than buying the individual coverages separately.

Final Word

Your work as a civil engineer has the power to enhance the lives of those who use your structures, but any errors or omissions you make in your work can lead to financial disaster. Given the highly technical and detailed nature of your work, mistakes are bound to happen. You can take steps to protect your business financially, however, with insurance coverage like professional liability insurance.

Moreover, in the everyday operations of your business, you can be exposed to a myriad of risks beyond the liabilities through your professional work. If a visiting customer injures himself on your property or if a fire destroys your office, you want to be sufficiently protected. Purchasing the right insurance package can help protect you financially from these unfortunate events. With comprehensive business insurance coverage, you can assuage any fears and help you stay focused on your work as a civil engineer.

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