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With reference to Craig Douglas' letter and Isabel Allen's editorial, both in AJ 01.02.07, concerning CABE 'decreeing that architects serving on its design panel should not be expect to be paid', I wish to point out a significant yet often unrecognised fact quite unrelated to any cheapening, perceived or otherwise, of the industry and those qualified to work within it.

Simply put, many professional indemnity (PI) policies are only valid where work has occurred for remuneration. No remuneration equals no cover.

This type of policy is old fashioned and in the process of being phased out, but architects should be aware that there are still a number of policies out there that include this wording.

I would strongly urge all architects to refer to their policy wording to check their level of cover before embarking on any 'free' work. If in any doubt, contact a specialist PI broker for help and advice.

Ted Jones, head of architects' PI team, Howden Insurance Brokers

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