The letter from Andrew James, 'Desperately seeking sensible premiums' (aj 5.2.98), suggests that there is no suitable pii available for 'small and part-time practitioners'. As Mr James points out, with effect from 31 March 1998 the Code of Professional Conduct and Practice of the arb will require that all architects who undertake 'professional work' must carry professional indemnity insurance.
There has always been pii available for 'small practices' and it has rarely been as competitively priced as it is now. There has not, however, previously been pii generally available aimed at those who do not make their principal 'living' by independent practice but who from time to time take on small commissions.
I am pleased to say that, in conjunction with the riba Insurance Agency, we have arranged a new low-cost scheme to cover members undertaking such work. The scheme has a premium of £50 and is exclusive to riba corporate members (not students or subscribers) who earn fees of less than £10,000 per year. Cover is set at £50,000 in respect of each and every claim.
The scheme has been put together at the minimum possible cost. This means that unfortunately neither the riba nor its insurance agency is able to deal with speculative enquiries. However, full details will be issued to the trade press shortly.
Director of Practice, riba