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. . . as RIBA hikes cost of PII to meet ARB guidelines

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The RIBA has made costly changes to its professional indemnity insurance - because, it says, they are needed to make the scheme fall into line with ARB guidance.

The institute met the board to agree a new arrangement for architects earning fees of less than £10,000 a year. The new scheme offers extra benefits for £140 a year.

Keith Snook , RIBA director of practice, has written to those interested in the original scheme, which gave £50,000 cover for a £50 premium. He

said the RIBA agreed with the ARB on valuable features of a PII policy, with additions such as civil liability, cover for loss of documents, and policies to be exclusive of legal costs. They could not, however, be achieved for £50. The RIBA Insurance Agency scheme will be available for the new fee of £140.

However, an insurance expert has said that virtually none of the 28,000 architects' policies will be up to the ARB's requirements and they will have to pay more. Graham Hearsey, of Professional Insurance Agents, said that very few architectural policies have a full civil liability wording, and many do not automatically provide cover for collateral warranties and criminal defence costs.

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