RIBA council has agreed to 'send out the strongest message' to the ARB that it is against the increases to minimum levels of professional indemnity insurance (PII). President Paul Hyett (left), speaking at last week's council meeting, attacked the rules as illconsidered and said they would do 'the most immense harm' to small practices. 'Let's send a message back that we don't like this, ' he said.
He criticised the scale and speed of the 'savage' rises and predicted more to come: 'It will be £250,000 this month and £500,000 next year.'
Hyett added that in all his experience as an expert witness he had never come across an architect without adequate insurance. 'There just isn't a problem there, ' he said.
Council agreed that the move was not just bad news for architects - particularly small practices and part-time practitioners - but also bad news for the consumer. Former director-general Alex Reid argued that raising PII will push up costs to the client and could cause some architects to deregister and work outside the restrictions of the profession.
Vice-president for practice Tim Gough said the RIBA would continue to protest the move and he urged individual members to write both to him and directly to the ARB with their complaints.
Gough added that if anyone knew of any evidence that architects have been practising without adequate insurance he would be pleased to receive it.